Another Reason Gadgets Make Kids Fat: It Keeps Them Up At Night

from the no-sleep-makes-you-fat dept

There have been plenty of reports about childhood obesity and the various causes behind it. In the past, we’ve seen reports about how things like playing video games could contribute to childhood obesity by making the kid a couch potato rather than going outside and playing. However, a new report gives a different explanation for why gadgets lead to childhood obesity: they keep kids up at night (found via textually). This is really a two step process. First, the study shows a lack of sleep contributes to obesity and that “can disrupt hormones that help control weight gain.” Then the study claims that it’s things like TV, computer games and mobile phones that are leading to that lack of sleep — and suggesting that parents need to remove gadgets from kids bedrooms. It’s a plausible enough explanation, though, it’s not clear the solution will really work. If kids want to stay up, they’re going to stay up. What’s more interesting are attempts to get the technology to fix the problem it’s caused, such as adding physical activity to the use of the technology.

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Comments on “Another Reason Gadgets Make Kids Fat: It Keeps Them Up At Night”

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tek'a says:

yossi, go beat your brother upside the head with a carrot. he aint fat only because of the monitor, he is fat from sitting there like a lump and eating cheese doodles.

in any of these “oh my! technology is making people fat!” so called studies, they ignore the common fact that if you removed the tech in question and left the other habits in place, they would still be fat.

SmartArse says:

Re: optimal health

> Diet, Exercise, Sleep
> They are equal in importance.

Really, equal? Like 3 * 2 = 6? The importance of these three factors is exactly the same, not even off by 0.000001%? How, pray tell did you measure this?

Sounds like another fcuking meaningless use of the word equal. You should just say all three are important cause that’s as far as your analysis takes you.

Here’s my analysis: diet > exercise because if you eat nothing you die within weeks whereas if you don’t exercise you don’t die for 50 years or more.

Howard Lee Harkness (user link) says:

Re: blame the victim

In the past 3 generations, obesity has increased to epidemic proportions. There is a systemic cause, and it doesn’t help to blame the victim.

The systemic cause is a combination of bad nutritional advice (specifically, the low-fat fad) and agricultural emphasis of low cost over quality.

Once I understood how bad the low-fat fad was for my health, I was able to relatively easily lose more than 100 lbs, and I have kept it off since 1999.

Anonymous Coward says:

“If kids want to stay up, they’re going to stay up”

Um actually I don’t buy that. If kids are bored shitless because they have nothing to entertain them, then they probably will go to bed. I know I certainly do when there is nothing for me to do.

As for the Japs and Koreans not being fat, um where’s your proof? Second my mate is Taiwanese he’s 5′ 7″ and weighs about 130lbs (light eh?) Is he fat? No. Does he sit playing computer games a lot? Yes. Is is an unhealthy cunt with no stamina or energy? Yup!!!!

Skinny/slim/lean != healthy

There are plenty of people that are not obese but are still fucking unhealthy

Old Guy says:


As usual the media shows it’s lack of understanding the fundamentals of research. Studies by defintion do NOT show causality. Studies are designed to show possible relationships. In this case for example, the study actually shows that children who stay up at night playing video games ALSO tend to be obese. It does not include confounding factors (as mentioned by tek’a) nutrition, general levels of excercise, genetics, etc. Only experiments can be said to prove anything! ‘enuf said.

Xiera says:

Several things...

1. Technology alone does not -make- people fat. BUT, it does deplete the resource of time, which would otherwise be available to exercise, etc.

2. Opinion: Allowing a kid to have a TV/computer in (generic) his room IS bad parenting. The main reason is the loss of social interaction between parent and child. Let the kid have books in his room. At least then there’s some gain for the kid AND you know what he’s doing (and more importantly NOT doing).

3. I believe it’s Korea (if not, it’s China) that limits the amount of time someone can do X online. I’m pretty sure that X is limited to online gaming, but don’t quote me on that.

4. Considering only one factor is not effective in determining causation.

I’m going to claim that it’s GOOD that Americans are getting so fat. Sometimes it takes an epidemic for people to realise there’s a problem. I’m going to claim that the problem is threefold (because it is): a) kids need to get out and play sports (even backyard sports) more, instead of playing console sports; b) parents need to take an active role in getting their kids exercise — i realise parenting is hard, but most parents are just lazy; c) our education system does NOTHING to teach kids about nutrition.

Sticking with that last point, even something as simple as the two posts by Howard Lee Harkness would open some eyes. To add to his second post, something like

30% of your diet is supposed to be fats
60% is supposed to be carbs
10% for proteins

Granted, this assumes that you are getting physical activity, but it IS an accurate portrayal of what a healthy person should be eating. (Of course, make sure you get your vitamins too.)

Luke (user link) says:

Time spent

Time spent playing video games is time not spent eating. You have any idea how hard it is to frag someone while eating a slice of pizza? Or really eating anything else. Most games require 2 hands to play now.

Also, why didn’t I get fat as a kid/teen when I spent the greater amount of my time, even when outsdie, and all I was doing was reading. I wasn’t playing video games – I was reading. I don’t remember reading requiring that much physical activity.

However, I do remember Mom limiting the junk food, coke, and dietary things to make sure that I stayed healthy. I didn’t start to put on weight until college – when I changed my eating habits to always be fast, full of calaries, and less sleep and more food.

Anonymous Coward says:

many factors contribute to “fatness”

exercise, diet, biological factors, envirnment, and the like.

to say that technology is the cause of obesity, is like saying yeast is the cause for bread. (you need water, flour, time, baking…things of that nature)

so, yeah, get kids moving, and the like, but still.

too much of anything is a bad thing. moderation. find what your body can and can’t handle.

Snarl Greywolf says:

Fatness is one's own responsibility

I agree with the sentiments of many here. Being a disgusting fat pig is one’s own fault – not that of video games or television, etc. I play on average 2-3 hours of World of Warcraft (Thunderhorn, Alliance, Druid: Nahtepa – for those interested), but I also spend an hour in the gym and walk my dog a mile every night. I go hiking, ice-climbing and sky-diving. Video games, television, and all the other sedintary activities are fine… in moderation. Same with food. If you eat all the unhealthy crap you can get your grubby hooves on, then sure, you’re heading for bovine-dom, but a little McDonalds or Chocolate cake now and again is fine.

Moderation. It’s long since been forgotten in today’s selfish, self-indulgent, immediate-gratification society.


Anonymous Coward says:

It is the diet!

Stop drinking colas. They contain high-fructose corn syrup. The body absorbs it with too much ease and spikes the blood sugar. Excess sugar is stored as fat. The spiking has the possibility of lead to diabetes. Stop eating the overly fat containing fast food. Fat = celeries. Taking in more than your body burns ends up stored as fat cells for later energy release in lean times. If you keep eating high calorie fatty foods all the time your body never sees a lean time so it just keeps storing and storing.
Eating fruits, vegetables(frozen or fresh not canned), whole grains and natural sugars is better for you. The body must work hard to break it down for energy intake from it.
Get out there and push the lawn mower to cut grass, walk the dog, swim, bike, etc. Anything to up the metabolism burns more calories. Strengthening your muscles builds them up and burns more too. Bottom line, eat less(calories), move more.

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