Smartphone addiction may up obesity risk in teens

In the study, adolescents spending more than five hours daily on devices were 43% more likely to suffer from obesity compared with those who spent less time on these devices, researchers said.

They also found that adolescents who spent more time on the devices were twice as likely to consume sugary drinks and not get enough sleep or physical activity.

Researchers from Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health studied data from the 2013 and 2015 waves of the Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance System, which included 24,800 adolescents in grades 9-12.

Researchers found that almost 20% of US adolescents spent more than five hours a day on phones, tablets, and computers compared with only 8% who watched television more than five hours a day .

Watching too much television was also associated with obesity and poor diet among adolescents, researchers found. “This study would suggest that limiting children’s and adolescent’s engagement with other screen devices may be as important for health as limiting television time,” said Erica L Kenney from Harvard.