Gadgets for Kids = Being Overweight

According to a study out of the U of A, every gadget that your ikid has in their room is more likely to make them obese!

“The scientists surveyed around 3,400 students in fifth grade (ages 9 to 11) and found that half of them had at least one electronic device in their bedrooms. Those were 1.47 times more likely to be overweight than kids with no device in their bedrooms.”

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2 responses to “Gadgets for Kids = Being Overweight

  • Kaleena

    Let’s return to the basic fact that correlation does not equal causation. So if indeed there is a correlation between gadgets and obesity, might it not be because these are children who are somehow already disinclined from physical activity and then purchase video games etc to pass time while their more physical peers are sweating outside. There are also children with electronic gadgets…many many many gadgets….who indeed are not overweight so to say a gadget is going “to make them obese” is absurd. It is a lifestyle that creates obesity, not the toys inactive kids are likely to play with that do so. A write up like this seems to want to steer people away from devices rather than steer kids towards activity. Interestingly enough devices can be incredibly helpful in this respect. I have a running app on my phone and a timer that I use to gain motivation for the activities that promote health. One of these links me to my friends devices so that they can further encourage me.

  • Josh Chalmers

    Thank you for the comment Kaleena, I appreciate your input, and acknowledge that perhaps my blog post was a little strong, especially the title. I agree that there is no necessary connection between electronic devices and obesity, yet I still think there might be something to this. I think that by default, technology does not lend itself to more exercise, but less. Consider the effects of TV on society as demonstrated by Putman’s Bowling Alone. How much more will technology like the mobile phone amplify those effects?

    On the other hand, I find your example about the running app really helpful. Other games that get kids moving might also demonstrate this, such as Dance Dance Revolution. You may find this link interesting too:

    Regardless, from both experience, and from studies such as this my instinct is that the default mode of technology is not towards a more healthy lifestyle but a life of inactivity. After all, they do say that “sitting is the new smoking”

    When it comes down to it, games like the running app or Dance Dance Revolution are the exception not the rule.

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