The link between screen time and childhood obesity
A 2021 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that, for each additional hour children spend on social media, they have a 62 percent greater risk of developing a binge-eating disorder one year later. The study echoes earlier efforts from researchers to determine the potential link between screen time and childhood obesity, the rate of which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports has more than tripled in the United States since the 1970s. One group of researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland analyzed more than 3,700 children who were not overweight or obese at the start of the study. Despite that, the researchers found that, for every extra hour of screen viewing children engaged in, kids were 16 percent more likely to become overweight or obese. The researchers behind that study urged parents to prevent excessive screen time and ensure children get sufficient sleep, a lack of which was linked to a 23 percent higher risk of becoming overweight or obese.
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