Adolescent Obesity and the Relationship to Screentime: A Literature Review
Kehler, Kristine Elizabeth
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The prevalence of obesity among youth in the United States and worldwide is reaching epidemic proportions. Surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate the rate of overweight and obesity in adolescents to be over 30%. This trend in adolescent obesity extends into adulthood, and consequently we see increasing morbidity and mortality from disease processes that are a result of obesity, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and diseases that were primarily adult concerns until recent years. Healthcare providers should therefore focus their efforts on appropriate measurement and tracking of adolescents at risk for overweight and obesity. Also, discovery of innovative solutions to prevent the onset of obesity in adolescence is imperative, including limiting screen time (i.e. television, computer, and video game use). This paper focuses on current research regarding screen time and its relationship to rates of adolescent overweight and obesity. In addition, recommendations for further research are included.