Too much screentime for a generation of ‘digital native’ children has been found to cause an adverse effect on overall health, new research has shown.

According to a BMJ Open research paper Effects of screentime on the health and well-being of children and adolescents: a systematic review of reviews there is strong evidence linking screentime with obesity and depressive symptoms.

There was also moderate evidence of an association with less healthy diets and poorer quality of life although no association was reviewed relating to vision.

In total, 13 reviews were selected by researchers at the UCL Institute of Child Health in London, covering television, computer, video, mobile and other screentime. There was no evidence for a threshold of in hours of screentime, and it was also noted that further research was urgently needed, particularly in relation to mobile digital devices.