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Jan 04

Addiction to Smartphones – a major risk factor for Obesity among Teens!

There is a considerable debate on addiction and abuse to Smartphone among adolescents and its consequent impact on their health; not only in a global context, but also specifically in the Indian population; considering that Smartphone’s, globally occupy more than 50% of mobile phones market

Mobile phone addiction/abuse/misuse is one of the forms of compulsive use of “a mobile phone” by adolescents across the world. A new kind of health disorder in this category among adolescents, “smartphone’s addiction/abuse/misuse” is now challenging health policy makers globally to think on this rapidly emerging issue. Indian adolescents are also affected by this high smartphone engagement.

Can This Trend Be Harmful?

Kids who are connected to technology spend less time in unstructured play – playing basketball in the driveway with friends, for example. Technology can keep them sedentary, and this may be a large component of the trend of increased obesity in children and teens. There may also be deficits in social connections and in-person communication. Teens who spend most of their free time connected to the Internet and other technologies frequently report a preference in using the screen to communicate rather than in-person interaction.

According to Palmer’s research, excessive screen time can be linked to obesity, sleep disorders, poor social skills, aggression, depression, and under achievement in school. This leaves little wonder that the recent boom in smartphones and tablets has coincided with the weakening of mental and physical health of children of all ages.

Today’s children have far fewer opportunities to really play, and to learn through experience — to learn through making mistakes. They are missing out on a critical time of social development, a time when they should be learning how to get along with their peers and how to interact with adults and authority figures.

Screen time is also eliminating the need for imagination, which is one of the most exciting gifts a child possesses.

We are all endlessly busy keeping up with the rigours of modern life, and giving your child a tablet while preparing dinner, or doing laundry, or shopping for groceries, or complete any other of the thousand tasks you face each day, affords you some much-needed time. But, assuming they are old enough, consider including them in these activities. Do what you can to encourage them to ask questions and learn without a screen in their face. Our children are the future decision makers and leaders of this Earth. Let’s help to ensure they do the best job possible.

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