Aug 18, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Gadget Usage Identified By Australian Parents As Number One Health Concern

Dec 02, 2015 01:31 AM EST

Child Playing With Phone
(Photo : Reuters) Excessive use of screens cited as the number one health concern by Australian parents.

Being in front of a screen, obesity and low amount of physical activity have been tagged as the top three health concerns for children and teenagers in Australia. Rounding up the top five health concerns are unhealthy diet and bullying.

The poll was conducted by Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital. This health poll also gathered information that Internet safety and suicide as one of the top 10 concerns for parents. Dr. Anthea Rhodes, the poll director, is aware that half of the top 10 health concerns is not strictly health-related but rather more on issues related to lifestyle, welfare, mental and emotional health.

"When we've looked to the public and asked them to tell us what's important, they've very clearly told us, it's those issues relating to lifestyle, child welfare and also mental health that are the big problems in their eyes," Dr. Rhodes said. "There's lots of research that tells us about the flow-on effects of obesity in children and the economic effects of that when it persists into adulthood."

Sixty percent of the 2,000 survey respondents chose children on "excessive screen times" or excessively using gadgets as the number one health issue. Dr. Rhodes also added that everyone should have a role in fixing this. Moreover, 50 percent of the respondents considered sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet as problems. Similar number of respondents also identified the use of illegal drugs, and even family domestic violence as a concern.

"The big problems, as identified by the Australian public, are very much non-traditional health issues and it's really not clear whose responsibility they are," Dr. Rhodes added. "Is it healthcare providers? Is it government and policy makers? Or is it the responsibility of parents themselves? It's up to people around the nation to sit up and listen and make a difference where they can."

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