A study conducted by researchers at the University of Glasgow, UK has found that spending more time in front of a screen can lead to a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes in childhood.
The researchers used data from the Child Heart and Health Study in England – a survey of almost 4,500 children between nine and 10 carried out in three UK cities between 2004 and 2007.
Children in the survey had fasting cardiometabolic risk marker assessments, anthropometry measurements and also reported the screen time they spent daily.
The study found that levels of adiposity variables were higher among children who reported more than 3 hours of screen time compared with those who reported an hour or less of screen time
Those who reported over 3 hours of screen time daily had higher ponderal index, skinfold thickness, fat mass index, leptin and insulin resistance. This suggests a strong association between time spent watching TV or playing video games with adiposity and insulin resistance.
The findings of the study then suggest that reducing the time children spend in front of a screen could facilitate in early T2D prevention.
Global prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and obesity have been increasing in adults as well as adolescents and children. Health effects of activities that encourage sedentary behaviour have been a particular focus of researchers who are creating awareness of the early determinants of adiposity and T2D risk in young people.