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HomeMedicinePediatricsAre Childhood Obesity and Screen Time Linked?

Are Childhood Obesity and Screen Time Linked?

A recent study examined if there is a link between childhood obesity and screen time.

In recent years, childhood obesity has increased at such a high rate that it is now becoming a major global health challenge Many factors contribute to obesity, including low exercise levels and an increase in inactive behaviors.

A recent Finnish study investigated the links between childhood obesity and screen time. In this study, researchers used the Finnish Health in Teens data (Fin-HIT), which included data from 10,000 children from Finland, aged between 9 and 12 years.

The results of the study were published in Scientific Reports. The children within the study were asked to report the amount of time they spent watching television and using a computer outside of school hours.

The height, weight, and waist circumference were also documented for each child.

The study found that high screen time is associated with overweight and abdominal obesity. There was no difference seen between different ages, genders, native languages, sleep, or exercise duration.


Engberg , E. et al 2019. Heavy screen users are the heaviest among 10,000 children. Scientific Reports.

Eurekalert. 2019. Abundant screen time linked with overweight among children. [Online]. [23 August 2019]. Available from:

Jade Evans MPharm
Jade Evans MPharm
Jade obtained her Master of Pharmacy degree from Cardiff University, UK in 2015 and then went on to work as a Pharmacist within the NHS, across both the hospital and community sectors. In 2017, she began her work for the medical news bulletin and moved to Perth, Australia. She is now working at Perth Children’s Hospital working in the Anaesthetic and Pain Management Research Group.


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