Screen time a factor in kids' weight woes

Queensland researchers have studied the habits of 144 children, with surprising results.

They looked at the children's level of physical activity, body mass index, and how much time they spent staring at screens, from computers to TVs and video games.

And physical activity was not the deciding factor in whether a child was overweight or not.

"Most of the children were reasonably active and overall did similar levels of physical activity, which had no direct correlation with their weight," said Dr Rachael Sharman, from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

"However, those who were overweight spent significantly more time sitting watching television or playing computer games than those in the normal weight range."

She said the study, which looked at children aged five to 13, showed how important it was for parents to limit screen time.

"Parents need to encourage and support children to be physically active but they also