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Link between electronic access in the bedroom and obesity study

Margaret Jack  By Margaret Jack   |   Posted in Sleep Research   |   Wednesday 2nd January 2013

Raising healthy Eating and Active Living Kids Alberta (REAL Kids Alberta), a recent joint project between the School of Public Health, the University and Alberta Health has found a link between students having access to electronic devices in the bedroom and obesity.

The study looked at 150 schools across the province and the researchers interviewed students, parents and head teachers. Almost 3,500 students were asked about their bedroom habits at night time. The students with electronic devices in their bedroom were 1.47 times more likely to be overweight, and this number increased to 2.57 for those children with three devices in the room.

It was found that the less sleep they were getting because of the distraction from the devices the more likely they would fit into the obesity category. 50% of the students interviewed had a TV, DVD player or games console in their bedroom. 21% had a computer and 17% had a mobile phone. 57% of the students admitted using electronic devices past their bedtime and it seemed that watching TV was the most popular activity.

The National Sleep Foundation recommend that children 12 years and over should get between 10 and 11 hours sleep each night. However a substantial amount of the students were not meeting the recommendations. Even getting an extra 1 hour each night can decrease the odds of becoming overweight by 28%.


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