Washington, April 16 : A new study has revealed that too much screen time and not enough physical activity might lead to childhood obesity.
Since childhood obesity is an increasing problem, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced guidelines for kids regarding physical activity and screen time, which includes both watching television and playing video games.
AAP has suggested that boys should take at least 11,000 steps a day while girls should take at least 13,000 steps a day.
Besides this, they have also suggested that children should limit total screen time to two hours a day.
And the new study evaluated these recommendations and the combined influence of screen time and physical activity on a child's risk of being overweight.
In an effort to assess the recommendations of the AAP, Kelly Laurson and colleagues from Iowa State University and the National Institute on Media and the Family examined a group of 709 kids between 7 and 12 years of age.
The kids were asked to wear pedometers and were given surveys to measure the amount of time spent watching TV and playing video games each day.
The researchers then calculated the body mass index, a measurement that can be used to determine obesity, of each child.
They found that almost 20 percent of the kids surveyed were overweight, with less than half meeting both recommendations of the AAP.
"Children not meeting the physical activity or exceeding the screen time recommendations were 3-4 times more likely to be overweight than those complying with both recommendations," Laurson said.
He also found that although some kids surveyed met one of the guidelines, very few of the children met both.
Researchers suggested that by encouraging physical activity and limiting screen time, caregivers may be able to reduce the risk of children from becoming overweight.
The study will be published in The Journal of Paediatrics.