Spending too much time staring at screens is making children more likely to be short-sighted, become overweight and get cancer, experts say.

A review of 80 studies on more than 200,000 people has ranked smartphones and tablets alongside sugary drinks as one of the biggest risks for childhood obesity.

Being overweight can lead to a dozen types of cancer, including breast, colon, kidney, liver, ovarian, pancreas and prostate, shares Daily Mail.

As well as increasing their risk of dying young, too much time on gadgets is damaging youngsters’ eyes – the number of short-sighted children has doubled in 50 years.

Researchers say the findings are a ‘significant concern’ and call for more control on junk food adverts, which worsen the effects of children doing less exercise.

Research done by the World Cancer Research Fund examined the causes of weight gain in children around the world.

It found increasing amounts of time spent on smartphones, tablets and gaming is a big driver of children getting fatter – that and sugary drinks make up the top two.

In addition to the obesity and cancer risks, spending too much time in front of screens also increase the number of children with myopia – short-sightedness.

Full report here

Share your comments below

  • What a nonsense clickbait headline! Too much screen time linked to *obesity*, not directly to cancer. The headline implies electronic devices themselves can somehow give you cancer, which is not true. It’s being sedentary that’s the issue, not the screens (you could have the same problem if you spent too much time reading books). Exercise is important, sure, but computers aren’t going anywhere, they’re part of our culture now, and very useful for a lot of things. Just monitor how much kids use them a bit and encourage them to go outside once in a while.


  • I think kids need time outdoors but also yes, everything in moderation.


  • I’m not surprised. Kids these days aren’t getting enough outside play time. I am always encouraging my kids to get creative with crafts or play outside when the weather is nice or even imaginative play with their toys. There is no need for a screen. They get enough of it at school anyway these days. Screen time i.e. movies, TV shows are a special treat in our house and not an every day thing.


  • My husband has been concerned about the effects of screen time and smart phone use for some time. His concerns are that in 10 years time, our kids are going to be suffering greatly with eye and neck issues, for starters. We’re have rules and boundaries, but screens are taking over. It’s hard to control when phones/iPads are now being required for school, homework, etc. I worry for our kids for the future and the effects of this use. We haven’t had enough time for research and to see the impact yet.


  • I know, we need to get them outside more


  • eye sight I can believe, even over weight I can believe (which would be rectified a lot faster if fresh food was cheaper than processed food and take away junk food)


  • Prior to modern technology were have now, we were told that we should never sit too close to a TV. That was over 40 years ago. Starting with grandparents who were told by who were back then known as eye specialists.


  • Everything in moderation is the key!

    • I agree with moderation in all things – just makes sense.


  • My guess is that it would be the same if they were spending all their spare time watching TV!


  • Sounds like a typical connection given that it’s the same for adults.


  • So there is no correlation to screen time and sleep but they can connect it to cancer allnof a sudden?


  • Children and adults need balance – quiet time and active time. Everybody needs time to be active and get exercise.


  • Is this screen time or would the same results come from other sedentary activities?


  • Doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. It’s been known for many years now that a sedentary lifestyle is no good for our health. And kids are being raised to be like this now


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