mobile phone useObesity

Excessive mobile phone use and obesity in children

Obesity is continuously rising in various parts of the world. Individual behaviors and environmental factors lead to excess caloric intake and inadequate amounts of physical activity.The commonly attributed factors are

Inadequate amounts of physical activity 

Mass production of food (fast food) 

Mass media bombardment of food related content 

Constant exposure to food-related content and advertisements on the mass media influence children to make unhealthy food choices. Studies have proven that an overt or covert food theme is omnipresent on various mass media. Most of the food advertised are high-calorie meals and snacks of little nutritional value, low in protein, vitamins or minerals.

Every additional hour of exposure to mass media per week increases the risk of developing obesity in school children by three per cent.

Incomplete knowledge about  nutrition 

Studies have shown that most of the obese people have incomplete information about nutrition. These are the people who fall in the trap of advertisement promoting junk food as nutritious foods. Advertising on mobile phones often gives temptation to eat, which contributes to overeating. For this reason, government agencies are supporting educational programs for children and young people in schools. They detail the need for consumption of vegetables, fruits, and vitamins in the daily diet.

Inactivity associated with excessive mobile phone use.

Children who use mobile phone excessively, tend to be more inactive. Children opt for mobile phones over the activity which demands physical exertion like playing and cycling etc. The excessive screen time is also known to reduce the basal metabolic rate, as compared to events like sitting and driving.

That is the reason why mobile screen viewing is found to have a higher association with diseases like obesity and diabetes as compared to other stationary conditions like driving.

Mobile phone usage contributes to obesity by following ways 
1. Children tend to eat more as they keep getting food related clues by the content viewed on the mobile phone.

2. Children tend to choose food which is rich in calories but poor in other nutritious values, because of excessive advertisement of fast food. There is the outright promotion of unhealthy food as healthy foods.

3. Children tend to delegate more time in physically still work like screen viewing than physical activities like playing.

4. Changes in the sleep pattern may also have a contribution in the overall issue of obesity in these children.

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