Tuesday March 20, 2018

Make your kids play outdoors to boost their eyesight

Make your kids play outdoors to boost their eyesight
Make your kids play outdoors to boost their eyesight. wikimedia commons

London, Dec 28, 2017: Worried that your kid’s eyesight might deteriorate because of endless hours spent on smartphones, gaming consoles, computers and tablets? Take heart, spending just two hours a day outdoors, playing any sport in the sunlight, might help, experts suggest.

Myopia — also known as nearsightedness and shortsightedness — is a condition of the eye where the light that enters the eye does not directly focus on the retina, but in front of it.

 This causes the image that one sees — when looking at a distant object — to be out of focus. It does not affect focus when looking at a close object.

According to experts, lack of natural light is the key behind the condition.

“The main factor seems to be a lack of exposure to direct sunlight, because children who study a lot and who use computers or smartphones or tablet computers a lot have less opportunity to run around outside and are less exposed to sunshine,” Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, was quoted as saying to BBC Health.

While stopping or limiting screen time use may be a big task for parents, the best thing to do, say the experts, is to get children playing outside as much as possible.

“We know that myopia or short-sightedness is becoming more common,” Chris Hammond, professor at King’s College London, was quoted as saying to BBC Health.

“Protective of myopia development is time outdoors — sport and leisure outdoors are protective of eyesight,” Hammond said.

“Probably on average across the week and the weekend, two hours a day outdoors is protective of becoming short-sighted in children,” he noted.

Further, a diet rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, C and E and nutrients are good for the back of the eye.

Regular annual eye checks can also help, experts suggested. (IANS)

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Genetics May Play Big Role In Kid’s Snacking Patterns

The children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks with higher energy density

These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay
These genes can cause heart failure. Pixabay

Parents, take note! The types of snacks a child chooses could be linked to genetics, a new study has claimed.

The researcher investigated whether genetic variants in taste receptors related to sweet preference, fat taste sensitivity, and aversion to bitter green leafy vegetables influenced the snacks chosen by the study participants.

They found that nearly 80 percent of the study participants carried at least one of these potential at-risk genotypes that could predispose them to poor snacking habits.

ALSO READ: App to help scientists study cancer genetics

“Kids are eating a lot more snacks now than they used to, and we think to look at how genetics can be related to snacking behavior is important to understanding increased obesity among kids,” said Elie Chamoun from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

“This new research could help parents understand how their kids taste and tailor their diet for better nutritional choices,” Chamoun added.

The researchers also tested the participants’ saliva to determine their genetic taste profile. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Scientists Use Pocket-size Device to Map Human Genetic Code

They discovered that kids with a sweet tooth, who have the gene related to sweet taste preference, ate snacks with significantly more calories from sugar. They also ate those snacks mostly in the evening.

“It’s likely these kids snacked more in the evening because that’s when they are at home and have more access to foods with high sugar,” said Chamoun.

The children with the genetic variant related to fat taste sensitivity were found to consume snacks with higher energy density. People with this genetic variant may have a low oral sensitivity to fat and therefore consume more fatty foods without sensing it, the researcher said. (IANS)

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