'Video games may cause diabetes'

ABU DHABI — Children’s obsession with computer and video games could be harmful for them as they could develop II diabetes, warned a medical expert.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sun 6 May 2007, 8:39 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:20 AM

"The very popular video and computer games could be associated with more kids now getting diabetes type II due to long hours they stay glued to the screen," cautioned Dr Roberts Zimmerman, Interim Chairman of Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Cleveland Clinic.

In an interview with Khaleej Times on the sidelines of an international conference on Diabetes, Dr Zimmerman advised that parents must impose a time limit on the number of hours for children to play video games.

The one-day conference was held yesterday in the capital with the aim of raising public awareness about the risks associated with the epidemic and means and ways of prevention. "Children need to exercise to become more active. Type II diabetes is preventable and one of the recommended step towards cure is to exercise," he said.

Type II diabetes, is a type of diabetes mellitus in which although the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, they are not immediately life-threatening, he explained.

"It usually strikes people who are older than 40 years old. In many cases the adults' body tissues become insensitive to insulin. This type of diabetes is also known as 'adult onset diabetes' or 'non-insulin-dependent diabetes'," clarified the expert.

He underlined that type I diabetes, which is insulin dependent has no definite causes yet and is not associated with lack of exercise among children and adolescent, noting that only a few kids get this type of diabetes.

"Generally, early detection for the disease could avert serious acute and chronic complications of diabetes, including strokes, heart attacks, kidney diseases, retinopathy (which can cause blindness) and nerve diseases," said Dr Zimmerman.

Regular exercise, proper dietary system and decreasing body weight, are of crucial importance to prevent the disease, he advised.

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