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Less screen time, more ‘huff and puff’ for overweight kids

Less screen time, more ‘huff and puff’ for overweight kids

Researchers recommend reduced screen time, removing electronic devices from bedrooms and more weekend activity to combat low levels of physical activity in overweight and obese children.

A study by the University of Auckland, Taranaki District Health Board, and Sport Taranaki, showed that of the 239 overweight or obese children studied, only 19 per cent met physical activity guidelines.

A third spent more than three hours a day outside of school hours watching television or other screens.

“The recommended screen time is less than two hours per day outside of school hours, and no screen time for children under the age of two. Recommended physical activity is one hour of moderate to vigorous-intensity ‘huff and puff’ activity per day.

Many obese children are not meeting these guidelines,” study co-author Yvonne Anderson says in a University of Auckland press release.

“As our lives get increasingly filled with technology, we need to unplug and get active with our children,” Dr Anderson says.

“As well as overall recommendations regarding increased physical activity and reduced screen time, targeted interventions amongst this population, including removing televisions and devices from bedrooms, and encouraging increased weekend physical activity, are warranted,” the researchers concluded.

The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


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First published: March 2017

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