Less Sleep and Obesity associated with Kids who have TV and Electronics in Bedroom

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(Best Syndication News) - Children who have a TV, computer, video game console, or mobile phone in their bedroom are at an increased risk for being overweight or obese, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Alberta.

The researchers conducted a survey of almost 3,400 5th grade students in the province of Alberta, Canada. They wanted to see if there was a relationship between a child’s sleeping habits, the number of electronic devices in their bedroom, and their weight. Around half of the students surveyed had a TV, DVD player, or video game console in their bedroom. They discovered that 21 percent of the children had a computer, and 17 percent had a mobile phone. Only 5 percent of the students had all three kinds of electronics.

Fifty-seven percent of the children who had electronics in their bedroom said they used the devices when they were supposed to be sleeping. The most popular activity was watching TV. Twenty-seven percent of the students with electronics did all three activities past bedtime.

The researchers found that children lacking sleep were at a higher rate of being overweight or obese. It did not take much either, missing just one hour of sleep put children at risk. Just one extra hour of sleep reduced their risk of being overweight by 28 percent and being obese by 30 percent.

Additionally, the study results demonstrated that children who had one or more electronic device in their bedroom where at a higher risk for being overweight or obese. Electronics included television sets, computers, video games, and mobile phones. The researchers said that the children who had at least one electronic device in their bedroom were at a 1.47 times higher risk for being overweight. Children that had at least three of the devices in their bedroom were at a 2.57 times higher risk for being overweight.

The researchers found that the children who had enough sleep tended to be more physically active and made better choices for nutrition.

The study co-author Paul Veugelers, a professor in the School of Public Health, Canada Research Chair in Population Health and Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Health Scholar, suggested that children could get better sleep and have a healthier lifestyle by removing electronics from the bedroom.

The study results were published in the September issue of the journal Pediatric Obesity.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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