Noting the negative impact on health from excessive use of social media and electronic devices, AMA encouraged primary care physicians and schools to be more proactive in educating patients and parents about their potential impact during the interim meeting of the House of Delegates.
More than 70% of U.S. teenagers use Facebook, 52% use Instagram and 41% use Snapchat, and there is a “notable link” between the increased use of social media and levels of depression and anxiety, the AMA said in a press release. AAP recognizes this link as well, according to AMA. “In addition to increasing awareness of these dangers among parents and teens, we must do more in our schools to identify and address them as soon as possible,” Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH and AMA board member, said in a press release.
The AMA also expressed concern regarding excessive screen time among children and adolescents.
“Mobile phones and tablets undoubtedly have educational and recreational benefits, but it is critical, particularly for young people, that screen time be balanced with physical activity and sleep, Ehrenfeld said in a separate press release.
“Physicians can play an important role in educating patients and parents about this balancing act, at home and in schools ... all of us must do more to address the harmful effects of screen time,” Ehrenfeld said.
Healio Family Medicine was unable to determine Ehrenfeld’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.