Recent reports of a link between extended screen time and cancer have been reported. Reading the reports it is easy to be alarmed. Start reading closer unfolding what the study finds and we can see how we need to treat screen time to offset and minimise the risks of screen time.
The reasons sited for increased cancer risks were due to increased levels of obesity from being sedentary, higher exposure to advertising for products that are unhealthy. It is indisputable that there is a clear risk between obesity and certain types of cancer but the using the screen itself is not the cause.
Having understood where the risks are coming from we can take a two step approach to reducing the risks emanating from the risks found;
- Limit screen time
- Encourage activity and healthy eating
This two step approach does two important things, forces your child to find alternative outlets for their energy and creativity away from a screen allowing them to discover their other interests.
Once your child is away from the screen they are not being exposed to as many advertisements which encourage fast food consumption and high sugar snacks which have been tied to increased risk of cancer and diabetes. Alarmist and sensational headlines we see in the news do not always help us to understand the risks we are exposed to, but if we take some time to unpack the studies we can learn something useful and help our families.
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