How has Technology affected Childhood Obesity?
“An increase in exposure to technology goes hand in hand with a decrease in physical activity. As children spend more time sitting in front of the TV or computer, they spend less time outside running around and burning off calories — and energy. Over time, combined with an increase in snacking, this can lead to significant weight gain.” says Lindsay Boyers.
Children are growing up in a time where the world revolves around technology. Most of their time is being spent using IPhones, computers, television, and gaming systems. Over the years technology has made children become lazier, caused health related issues, and created bad habits.With the expansion of technology in our day to day lives, most children focus more of their time staring at a screen rather than being physically active.
Technology has caused children to become lazy. The cause of laziness can lead to more snacking and entertainment time. It is easier to want to snack more when you are sitting on the couch playing video games. Other bad habits could include bad posture, lack of e-mail or texting etiquette, or seeing too much social media.They have become too dependent on these gadgets. Sometimes kids can become so drowned in their devices that they forget what going outside to play even is. Although you cannot take all technology away from children, they should be limited on the time they use it.
Health Related Issues
Technology can cause some health related issues in children now and even when they become adults. It can lead to mental, physical, and emotional problems. Technology can impact the way that a child thinks and feels. It is full of stimuli and makes kids pay attention to different things all at the same time. This can make a child have lack of focus on other important things in life. It can also impact the way they process information in their brains. Being exposed to high technology can effect their critical thinking and creativity while learning. Research has shown that some devices emit a harmful blue light that can cause headaches, pain, and strained eyes. Sleep schedules can be messed up as well. When children see that blue light in the evenings it can disrupt hormone melatonin which can irregulate one’s sleep cycle. Children need to be more exposed to the sun and the outdoors. Technology has also been shown to create low self-esteem and negative mood swings. A difficulty in picking up social cues and developing relationships can be harmed. Socializing and interacting with others through social media can cause bullying and emotional problems that can stick with them for the rest of their lives.
The more that children use technology, the better chance they will become addicted. When kids become addicted to technology, it can lead to them not wanting to be physically active. Sometimes it is difficult for the child because their parents do not care how long they use technological devices each day. A parents choice of a healthy lifestyle starts while the child is in the womb. A research study showed that there is a higher chance of a child becoming obese if the mother gained too much weight during her pregnancy.Children look up to their parents and they will follow in their foot steps. Healthy choices need to be made by both the adult and the child.
How can we Prevent Childhood Obesity?
Child obesity is an issue and something needs to be done about it. 1 in 3 children are over weight. These kids have a higher risk of getting heart disease. This can also lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So, what can we do about?
Create Healthy Eating Habits
It is important to make sure that kids are drinking enough water and not just sugary carbonated drinks. Parents can provide their kids with lots of vegetables and whole grain products. Choosing lean meats to add protein to their diet will help as well. Another important factor is to watch portion sizes and make sure that they are reasonable. Parents can also make their kids favorite dishes a little bit healthier by sneaking in extra vegetables or low-fat options. They will not even know the difference!
Engaging in the appropriate amount of physical exercise will certainly help to prevent obesity. Kids should try to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise each day. Parents can invite their kids to go on a walk, bike ride, or even play basketball just outside the house.
Reduce Screen Time
It is impossible to take away technology from children forever, however parents can limit the time they use it.
How can Technology be used in a Positive Manner?
Bonding with Family
Some relatives live very far away and children are not able to see them often. Using technology can help to stay in contact with them. This will help to not feel so distant from family members. It is also good to be able to contact your child if you are not with them so that you can make sure you know where they are at all times.
Apples watches and Fitbits have became a huge item in the world. Kids can use these to track how active they are. They can even connect with their friends to see each others activity and hold them accountable. This will also help them to know if they are getting enough physical activity each and every day.
There are a lot of different games that can be played to teach children any subject in school. Books have become a big part of technology these days as well. There are many apps that can be downloaded to read educational books. Some websites can even help children to improve communication skills and learn how to interact with peers.
Technology is never going to leave our society. It is only going to expand the older that we get. We need to turn the negatives of technology into positives. We need to use technology to our advantage rather than letting it harm us.
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Patel, Dhruvin. “How Technology Impacts Children’s Development.” Medium, Thrive Global, 2 Mar. 2018, medium.com/thrive-global/will-technology-ruin-your-childrens-development-663351c76974.
“Tips for Parents–Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 Feb. 2020, www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/children/index.html.