Parents, there is another reason to limit your children's screen time: it could contribute to future heart disease.
The latest advice comes from the American Heart Association and confirms existing recommendations that limit screen time for children and teens to no more than one to two hours a day.
"The screen time is related to overweight and obesity is associated with high cholesterol and high blood pressure," pediatric cardiologist Dr. Stephen Daniels, a spokesman for the American Heart Association. "When these risk factors, such as childhood obesity, are used, they tend to progress into adulthood."
Dr. David Hill, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Communications and Media Council, agreed, "Heart health begins in childhood, so I think it's very appropriate for the American Heart Association to investigate any problem that can contribute to heart disease."
A panel of American Heart Association experts evaluated 20 years of science on the relationship between cardiovascular disease, strokes, and self-reported screen times of children and adolescents. They found that the use of mobile screens is high during TV viewing, resulting in an overall net increase.
Today, children aged 8 to 18 years are estimated to spend more than seven hours a day on smartphones, tablets, video games and other on-screen recreational devices, including television.
While the time spent being a sedentary TV snoop may be low, the use of other types of portable screens does not seem to have any increasing activity among teens, experts panel said.
"Passive consideration is still the number one activity of children," said Hill. "Whether it's a video game or a laptop or a desktop computer, kids are still sitting."
Sedentary behavior is associated with obesity risk and obesity is associated with heart disease, so detective does not need to find out
"There is strong data linking children's television time to adiposity in children," said Hill, adding that it appears to be linked to the promotion of unhealthy foods and the likelihood of a kid snacking on television  "There are real concerns that screens affect eating habits, possibly because of children "switch off" and not notice when they eat in front of the screen, "Tracie Barnett, a researcher at the INRS Institute Armand Frappier and Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center in Montreal, said in a statement.
"There is also evidence that screens interfere with sleep quality, which may also increase the risk of obesity," said Barnett, who [194590führte08] the writing group of the American Heart Association
"Ideally, VDUs should not be in bedrooms "Barnett added," because some studies have shown that screen devices in the bedroom can affect sleep. "
Hill added that research shows no link between obesity and social media or gaming, perhaps because it makes it harder to play is snapping. But research has a hard time keeping up with technological advances, said Hill, and long-term research is needed.
The panel of experts from the American Heart Association agreed, adding that little is known about the effects of long-term screen use on children's health. Parents also need research-based advice, the panel said, breaking the siren call on screens and improving physical activity in childhood.
Upcoming Ideas to Help Parents Enable The Whole Family To Plan A Physical Activity Every Day And Remove TV And Mobile Screen Devices From The Bedroom And Planning Television In Advance
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides an interactive tool for creating a personalized media usage plan for the family. And do not forget that not all technologies are bad, experts said.
"There are ways to use technology to improve health," said Hill. "My youngster got his first fitness tracker at the age of 11 and comes to me every day to tell me how many steps he has taken."