A task force from the European Academy of Paediatrics and the European Childhood Obesity Group has found evidence of a strong link between obesity levels across European countries and childhood media exposure. The experts' review is published in Acta Paediatrica.
The findings indicate that parents and society need a better understanding of the influence of social media on dietary habits. In addition, health policies in Europe must take account of the range of mass media influences that promote the development of childhood obesity.
"Parents should limit TV viewing and the use of computers and similar devices to no more than 1.5 hours a day and only if the child is older than four years of age. Moreover, paediatricians should Inform parents about the general risk that mass media use poses to their children's cognitive and physical development," said senior author Dr. Adamos Hadjipanayis, of the European Academy of Paediatrics.