News World WHO recommends one-hour maximum screen time per day for under-5s

WHO recommends one-hour maximum screen time per day for under-5s

Children aged two to four should not be allowed more than one hour of “sedentary screen time” per day and infants less than one year old should not be exposed to electronic screens at all, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

The United Nations agency, issuing its first such guidelines, said under-fives should also be physically active and get adequate sleep to help develop good lifelong habits and prevent obesity and other diseases in later life.

Sedentary screen time would include watching television or videos and playing computer games.

“Healthy physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep habits are established early in life, providing an opportunity to shape habits through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood,” the WHO said in the guidelines to member states.

Children between one and four years old should spend at least three hours in a variety of physical activities spread throughout the day, it said. Infants under one should interact in floor-based play and avoid all screens, it said.

Being inactive is a “leading risk factor” for mortality and fuels the global rise in overweight and obesity, the WHO said.

In a report two years ago, the WHO said the number of obese children and adolescents worldwide had jumped tenfold to 120 million in the past 40 years and that the rise was accelerating in low- and middle-income countries, especially in Asia.

Excessive weight can lead to diseases including diabetes, hypertension and some forms of cancer, it said.

KEEP ACTIVE

Early childhood is a period of rapid physical and cognitive development during which habits are formed and family lifestyle routines are adaptable, it said in the guidelines, drawn from evidence in hundreds of studies, many from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United States.

“Sedentary behaviours, whether riding motorised transport rather than walking or cycling, sitting at a desk in school, watching TV or playing inactive screen-based games are increasingly prevalent and associated with poor health outcomes,” the WHO said.

Chronic insufficient sleep in children has been associated with increased excessive fat accumulation as measured by body mass index (BMI), it said.

Shorter sleep duration has been associated with more TV viewing and time spent playing computer games, it added.

“Improving the physical activity, sedentary and sleep time behaviours of young children will contribute to their physical health, reduce the risk of developing obesity in childhood and the associated non-communicable diseases in later life and improve mental health and well-being,” the WHO said.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

5G network licensing tenders to be announced this month

    The Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, through the Digital Communications Department, will announce a tender within July 2020 to grant licences...

Man charged with working illegally after taking food to Paphos police

  A fast-food delivery man has been charged with working illegally after making a delivery to Paphos police station, the Cyprus News Agency reports. It said...

U.S. Supreme Court allows federal executions to proceed

  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the first federal executions in 17 years could proceed, overturning an injunction blocking them in order...

Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since March

  Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours...

Limassol: 65 year old killed in labour accident

  A 65 year old Greek Cypriot man was killed in a fatal labour accident that occurred at a Limassol timber storage area on Tuesday...

Taste

Halloumi cheese fingers

Ingredients Serves: 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 175g (6 oz) halloumi cheese, cut into sticks 1 dessertspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Prep:5min ›...

Koupes (cracked wheat pies) with mushrooms

Ingredients: For the dough: 1½ cup bulgur wheat 2 cups water 1 tsp. salt For the filling: 250gr. mushrooms, finely chopped ½ cup of olive oil 2 big onions, coarsely chopped 1...

Fried zucchini balls with halloumi

Ingredients: 6 medium zucchinis (approximately 1kg) 1 small onion, grated 1 large halloumi (about 250gr.), grated ½ cup simple flour 2 tsps. fine lemon zest 2 big eggs 1 tbsp. fresh...

Rocket salad

Ingredients: 4 cups rocket leaves, rinsed and dried 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup pomegranate seeds 1 red bell pepper ½ cup croutons 2-3 light cheese slices (grated) salt ½ of a...