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Computer use doesn't make kids fat: report

TT/The Local · 10 Mar 2010, 15:30

Published: 10 Mar 2010 15:30 GMT+01:00

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The study was conducted by school nurse Pernilla Garmy, who reviewed the answers provided in a questionnaire sent out to all primary school children in the southern Swedish town.

"The results are conclusive," she told local newspaper Metro Skåne.

The study shows that the risk of being overweight is directly affected by whether there was a television in the room, whereas long periods spent in front of the computer had no bearing on a child's weight.

Story continues below…

One theory for the survey results posits that using a computer demands more activity from a user -- who may be chatting or playing games -- than watching television, a passive exercise that lends itself to snacking.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:05 March 10, 2010 by Glempa
I think a study by a school nurse is hardly conclusive. Anyway, Children who spend long time on computers have nothing to limit their viewing time and stay up later and go to school looking like the walking dead. I know, my wife is a teacher and sees it every day.
17:21 March 10, 2010 by tysklampa
I always thought it was food that caused obesity, not a computer...
18:02 March 10, 2010 by Audrian
Those who watch TV eat snacks during commercial breaks while those who prefer playing video games are those who often suffer from addiction to games; they might not want to inturrupt their game for "silly" things like snacks.
18:12 March 10, 2010 by Audrian
19:25 March 10, 2010 by zeero
:-) A fantastic research... if you can call it like that... any how the local once again is writing everything about nothing....
19:43 March 10, 2010 by Keith #5083
The only proviso to this report is that the question should have been asked if PC users drank large quantities of soda (eg. Coke,Pepsi,etc).

Otherwise I have always maintained that even brain-use activity burnt calories and therefore PC was less damaging than tv. Of course, when you see most of the tv progs the presumption that they require brain activity is pretty bold.

Perhaps the government could commission a more detailed and in-depth report on this subject
22:38 March 10, 2010 by johnnyrebel
"The results are conclusive," she told local newspaper Metro Skåne.

Its possible, you know, that this school nurse is correct. But this is a relatively new phenomenon, the relationship between computers and human youth development. In human evolution...will at some point the human species evolve with the computer replacing what we now have for a head...and cell phones replacing our ears. Figuratively if not literally? What effect will it have on our hearts...our ability to feel? What effect will it have on our ability to discern…reality from virtual reality?

Houston…we have a problem.
22:43 March 10, 2010 by SWOT
I do not think the study is sufficient. If they study the length of time people stay infront of computer, they would get another result.
00:36 March 11, 2010 by xenyasai
@Glempa: And your wife's anecdotal evidence is more credible?

What is more fascinating is that the Internet and anonymity it can give you makes everyone an expert on any topic.

It is very simple. If you disagree with a report or any kind of research, do your own research. Anecdotal evidence and opinions is not good enough; as anecdotal evidence is not trustworthy and opinions can neither be true or false.
08:26 March 11, 2010 by spongepaddy
@xenyasai: Well said. You could throw a rock on the web and hit a hundred moaners but not a single actual fact. Although, having dated a nurse, I must admit that they are very far from being scientists...
10:51 March 11, 2010 by Kevin Harris
Children are way to different from one another to draw any useful conclusions at all from a questionaire type survey.

My sporty 14 year old son trains at football, innebandy and PE, eight times a week. He plays one or two innebandy matches over the weekend and attends free skating twice a week so he can play bandy next year. when he is not training, he sits in front of his computer for several hours at a time. He eats like a horse and is as thin as a rake. His friend, who shares his love of food and computer games, but hates any kind of exercise, is just as thin.

As the old folks say, it only shows you never can tell.
15:23 March 11, 2010 by karex

I think that Glempa does have a point though. Scientific research, to be able to claim the results as conclusive must cover a much larger base than just a town. Furthermore, given the same set of variables, the results must be possible to reproduce every time by anyone else doing the same thing. I don't think that they can claim this from one study.
15:59 March 11, 2010 by BrittInSweden
So a kid who sits in one chair doesn't run the risk of getting as fat as a kid sitting in another chair?

Wow, not surprised it took research to figure that one out...

"The study shows that the risk of being overweight is directly affected by whether there was a television in the room"

Just being in the same room makes you fat? I am staying the hell away from Dixons.
14:58 March 12, 2010 by Sjayna
Shame on Sweden...to put money on this kind of study...Don't the Swedish people know the connection between eating habits/healthy diet/exercise and obesity! Can not the people calculate out the 'risk factors' by themselves?
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