INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCES AND NUTRITION, vol.62, no.1, pp.60-62, 2011 (SCI-Expanded)
The technological age has resulted in children spending prolonged hours in front of television (TV) and computer screens (on the internet). The aim of this prospective cross-sectional study is to determine the effect of this phenomenon on both childhood obesity and low vision in the State of Qatar. A total of 3000 school students aged 6 to 18 years were approached from September 2009 to March 2010 and 2467 (82.2%) students agreed to participate. Face-to-face interviews based on a designed questionnaire were conducted. The highest proportion of obese children were aged between 15-18 years (9.4%; p < 0.001); spent >= 3 hours on the internet (5.6%; p < 0.001), and spent between 5-7 hours or less sleeping (4.1%; p < 0.001). Forty-six (1.9%) children spent >= 3 hours/day on the internet, and were either overweight/obese and had low vision. The study findings confirmed a positive association between obesity and low vision as a result of excessive time spent on the TV view and internet use.