Do you want to get your kids to eat less junk food? You can do this by cutting down on your kids’ screen time.
That’s right, just by reducing your children’s time in front of smartphones, monitor screens and video games, you can make their eating habits better. On the contrary, more screen time can make their eating habits worse.
Researchers at the University of Malaga in Spain found that the time children and adolescents spend on screen time entertainment adversely affects their eating habits. The researchers reference the Mediterranean diet as the baseline for a healthy diet.
The Mediterranean diet consists of foods such as fruit, vegetables, legumes, fish and nuts. This diet has been established as one of the most complete, balanced and healthy diets you can eat.
Children and adolescents who sit in front of the screen for longer periods of time end up eating less food related to the Mediterranean diet. They tend to eat more junk food like sweets, candies and fast food.
Reducing Screen Time
Parents usually have a hard time getting their kids to eat right. This study shows that simply cutting their screen time, kids and adolescents can cut out more unhealthy eating habits.
The study consisted of 3,800 children and adolescents who were from the ages of 8 to 16 and from 245 schools all over Spain. The researchers looked at factors such as physical activity, sedentarism, lifestyles and obesity in Spanish youth and their families.
The results were published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine (February 2021).
So go ahead and assess your kids’ screen time. Try to find ways to reduce their screen time. One example is to replace screen time with some physical activity. As their eating habits improve and they become more healthy, your kids will thank you for it.