Relationship of electronic device usage with obesity and speech delay in children
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Background. Smart device usage has become favorable among children worldwide. Objectives. The study aimed to identify the relation between usage of electronic devices with obesity and speech delay. Material and methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 452 healthy children (18 months to 14 years old) from pediatric clinics of the Ministry of Health (MOH), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Data was collected from June to July 2018. Analysis included linear regression, logistic regression, chi-square, t-test and ANOVA. Results and discussion. Male participants totalled 57.7% and females 42.3% (mean age 82.27 months) (SD = 40.18). Mean duration of usage: 3.1 hours (SD = 2.58) per day. Among toddlers only, 31.1% had speech delay. The results showed no relation between the duration of smart device usage and obesity (p-value = 0.904) or speech delay (p-value = 0.538). Duration of usage was not influenced by gender or parents’ marital status; however, children who live with both parents spent less time on smart devices than others. The smart device most used was a tablet (47%), and the main usage was primarily entertainment (60.8%) and games (47.6%). Only 57.8% reported having parental supervision. Among children, 59.3% eat chips and 48.9% eat candy as snacks during usage. Among parents, 71.5% believe devices reduce children’s physical activities, 64.8% believe that the smart device is a problem, 62.5% of parents should control time of use, and 60.5% believe that their children are attached to the devices. Conclusions. There is no association between the duration of using smart devices and obesity, nor speech delay. Future directions and recommendations should be discussed.
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