Risk of diabetes may increase in your child if you let him/her watch TV or use smartphones, tablets for more than three hours, according to a new study. Paying more than three hours on screen on a daily basis is linked to several risk factors associated to development of diabetes in children, researchers told.
The risk factors include adiposity or total body fat and crucially, insulin resistance, which occurs when cells fail to respond to insulin, which is a hormone that controls the levels of blood glucose and is produced by pancreas. a sample of nearly 4,500 9-10 year old pupils from 200 primary schools in the UK was studied upon by researchers including those at St George’s, University of London for a series of metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors.
Blood fats, insulin resistance, fasting blood glucose levels, inflammatory chemicals, blood pressure and body fat are included in these. The children were asked the time they daily paid on screen including TV, using computers and games consoles. Boys (22 per cent) were more likely than girls (14 per cent) to say they spent three or more hours on screen time, as were African-Caribbean (23 per cent) kids compared with their white European (16 per cent) or South Asian peers (16 per cent).
Trends emerged between screen time and ponderal index – an indicator of weight in relation to height, and skin-folds thickness and fat mass – indicators of total body fat. All these levels were higher in children who reported paying more than three hours on screen daily than in those who sent an hour or less on it.
Well, there was strong trend between daily quota of more than three or more than three hours of daily on screen time and levels of leptin, the hormone that controls appetite; fasting glucose and insulin resistance. The associations between screen time and insulin levels, insulin resistance, ponderal index, skinfolds thickness and fat mass remained significant even after considering the important factors like household income, puberty stage and physical activity levels.
“Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls and in different ethnic groups from an early age,” researchers said.
“This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 diabetes, the early emergence of type 2 diabetes risk, and recent trends suggesting that screen time related activities are increasing in childhood and may pattern screen-related behaviours in later life,” they said. The research was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.