Less Screen Time Fights Childhood Obesity

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From Your Health Journal…..”A decade ago, experts were worried about all the TV time kids spent being sedentary – – to the tune of 2-4 hours a day. Now, 10 years later, we are adding computers, video games, cell phones, and other hand held devices into the mix. The amount of times kids are inactive is growing…..along with their waistlines. Change is needed, and quick. Families need to be aware of this, and learn how to reduce all the technology time to help lead healthier lifestyles.”

From the article…..

Increased “screen time” due to advancing technology has been identified as a contributor to childhood obesity.

Screen time is now one of the measures – along with diet and exercise – looked at by the team in Bodywise, a Waikato District Health Board and Sport Waikato programme aimed at helping bigger-sized kids.

“Advances in technology have increased screen time. Traditionally this was just TV but now this includes computers, DVDs, hand-held games, web-based portable devices and phones,” says DHB clinical psychologist on the Bodywise team Natalie Parkes.

“Parents think they are doing well by getting the kids away from the TV but they also need to be outside and active.

“We know from research that kids who spend time outside are also more active when they are inside.”

Bodywise has been helping overweight and obese Waikato kids aged 5-12 years since 2004 through a 14-month, family-based programme encouraging healthy choices.

“The focus is on overall health rather than getting kids to lose weight, so the focus is on healthy foods, exercising and just making good choices,” Natalie says.

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