Canada: parents feed screen-time sedentary behaviour

08 March 2019

Parents using screen time as a reward or punishment for pre-schoolers might be feeding their attraction to screens, a study has found.

Researchers looked at children aged between 18 months and five years and found that most parents used screen time to control behaviour, especially on weekends. However, this actually resulted in children spending an average of 20 minutes more a day on weekends in front of a screen than children whose parents don’t.

‘It’s similar to how we shouldn’t use sugary treats as rewards because by doing so we can heighten the attraction to them,’ said Professor Jess Haines, who co-authored the study published in BMC Obesity. ‘When you give food as a reward it makes children like the carrot less and the cake more.’

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