More screen time, more obesity

Americans are spending more time than ever looking at screens, according to a new Nielsen Company report. During the first quarter of 2016, U.S. adults spent an average of 10 hours and 39 minutes each day—an hour more per day compared with last year—using devices such as tablets, smartphones, personal computers, video games, and TVs.

Sedentary activities such as screen time have been linked with risk of obesity, which in turn increases the risk for diabetes. Both obesity and diabetes rates have soared in the U.S. in recent years.

Steven Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN that he wasn’t surprised by the jump in screen time. “The number of devices we have proliferate the overall time spent with screens, and the number of devices is increasing,” he said.

To limit screen time, Gortmaker suggested limiting access to devices. “Throw out those extra screens, and don’t put one in your bedroom,” he said. “Learn to shut down the iPads and smartphones before you go to sleep and limit the use. Certainly, we need these devices, but try giving yourself a break.”

Read the CNN article: Americans devote more than 10 hours a day to screen time, and growing

Learn more

Keeping an eye on screen time (Harvard Gazette)

Television Watching and “Sit Time” (Obesity Prevention Source)