A new study of 1,060 students at Simon Bolivar University in Colombia was conducted from June to December 2018.
There were 700 women, average age 19, and 360 men, average age 20, Healthday reports.
Those who used their smartphone five or more hours a day increased their risk of obesity by 43%. Meanwhile, 26% of those who were overweight and 4.6% of those who were obese spent more than five hours a day on their smartphone.
Not a surprise, the study also found that those who used their smartphone five or more hours a day were twice as likely to be less physically active and to consume more sugary drinks, fast food, sweets and snacks.
"Spending too much time in front of the smartphone facilitates sedentary behaviors, reduces the time of physical activity, which increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, different types of cancer, osteoarticular discomfort and musculoskeletal symptoms," warned study author Mirary Mantilla-Morron. She's a cardiac pulmonary and vascular rehabilitation specialist at Simon Bolivar.
It would be interesting to compare results of a similar survey conducted on students that wear devices such as the iPhone that has a fitness tracker built in as you check email, texts, facebook and YouTube.