Is there a link between smartphones and poor eating habits? Teens who spend more than 2 hours a day on their smartphones are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables, compared with those who spend less time on their phones. That’s according to findings presented by Korea University researchers at a 2021 virtual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition.

Among 53,000 adolescents ages 12–18, those who used smartphones for 5 or more hours a day consumed more fast foods, sugar-sweetened beverages, chips and instant noodles—a food pattern that can up the risk of overweight and obesity—than those whose smartphone use was limited to less than 2 hours a day.

Interestingly, the reasons teens used phones appeared to matter, too. Those who used them more for information searches and retrieval had healthier eating behaviors and were less likely to be overweight than those who typically used them for messaging, gaming, video watching and social networking. So, yes, the link between smartphones and poor eating habits means the route to a healthy or unhealthy diet in our younger generations may be in their hands, literally.

See also: Video Games and Poor Eating Habits