Technology: Is it Making Our Kids Overweight?

Angela Skinner Mullen

Back when we were kids, experts worried that we were watching too much TV, not only rotting our minds but turning us into little mini couch potatoes in the process. Get outside and get active was the advice. These days, our kids spend time not only watching TV, but also on computers, video games, iTouches, and more. How much is too much, and will too much computer and device play result in overweight kids? It could.

A recently published article by the American Academy of Pediatrics found what we’ve been suspecting for years. Whether they are flopping in front of the television like we used to or plopping in front of a computer screen, many kids are not getting enough time outdoors exercising and just being kids. Add into the mix all the new technological distractions and the fact that many kids are not eating right or sleeping enough, and the potential for weight gain only gets worse.

How can we make it better? It’s not like technology is going anywhere. If anything we’re getting more and more devices and using them for more and more things. Here’s some ideas of what you can do:

• Set limits on how long your kids can watch TV, work on the computer, and play with other devices.
• Make sure your kids are getting enough exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep.
• Spend time with your kids outdoors. If they see you getting exercise, it sets a great example of what’s important.

I love to start my day catching up on emails and Facebook with a large coffee. These days, I’m taking my dogs for a walk first. Letting my kids see me exercise – then hit the computer – helps them learn it’s all about balance.

Read the entire American Academy of Pediatrics article here.

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