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Too much TV, video and computer can make teens fatter
Date:9/20/2010

This release is available in French.

Too much television, video games and Internet can increase body fat in teens. A five-year study from the University of Montreal and the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, has found teenagers have four different patterns of screen use: increasers, decreasers, consistently high and consistently low users.

Even teens from the consistently low group exceeded two hours per day of screen time on average, yet organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society recommend limiting screen use to two hours per day. Increasers and consistently high screen users had the greatest increases in percent body fat, while decreasers had the lowest gains in percent body fat

While the majority of adolescents in the study maintained a typical ''flat'' pattern of 25 to 30 hours of screen time per week, close to 30 percent of adolescents had screen time patterns that increased, decreased or remained high over time. The scientists found that these atypical' patterns had the greatest impact on weight gain.

"There is some concern that adolescents' television, video and computer use is filling much of their discretionary time" says lead author Tracie A. Barnett, a professor at the Universit de Montral's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and a scientist at the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center. "Our findings show that youth are at greater risk of increased body fat if screen use increases through high school; one possible reason is that teens who increase their screen time are simultaneously reducing involvement in and opportunities for more active pursuits." Similarly, teens that had initially high levels of screen use but dropped their screen use over time ended up with the most favourable body fat
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Contact: Julie Gazaille
j.cordeau-gazaille@umontreal.ca
514-343-6796
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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