Medics claim there is “convincing evidence” that spending hours glued to TVs, computers and smartphones is fuelling childhood obesity, The Sun reported.
The World Cancer Research Fund report found rising exposure to smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles in childhood is driving long-term weight gain — identified as one of the key causes of cancer
Caroline Cerny, from the Obesity Health Alliance also warned that eating too much unhealthy food and drink, with sedentary lifestyles contributes to weight gain and obesity.
“We also know that when children spend time in front of screens, they are bombarded with junk food adverts,” Ms Cerny said.
“This new report highlights the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles and children’s exposure to advertising.”
According to the NZ Herald, the new analysis looked at 80 studies involving more than 200,000 people in order to examine the causes of rising obesity and identified screen time in childhood as one of the chief culprits.
It follows findings from the WRCF linking being overweight or obese to 12 common types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon, liver, ovarian, kidney and pancreatic disease.
“Eating too much unhealthy food and drink, with sedentary lifestyles contributes to overweight and obesity — this much is clear. We also know that when children spend time in front of screens, they are bombarded with junk food adverts,” Ms Cerny said.
Sophia Lowes, from Cancer Research UK warned obese children were five times more likely to be obese as an adult, “which is worrying because then they’ll be at an increased risk of 13 different types of cancer.”
“That’s why it’s vital we see a 9pm watershed on junk food adverts on TV and similar protection for children viewing adverts on-demand and online.”
Around two in three adults are now overweight or obese.
The report warns overconsumption of sugary drinks and junk food are also fuelling obesity, raising the risk of cancer.
The study also found breastfed kids were less likely to become obese.