SCREEN time has almost zero negative effect on the mental health of youngsters according to new research by Oxford University.

Researchers have found at most only 0.4 per cent of adolescent wellbeing is related to screen use – which only slightly surpasses the negative effect of regularly eating potatoes.

The results were gathered in the most definitive study to date on the relationship between technology use and adolescent mental health, examining data from over 300,000 teenagers and parents in the UK and USA.

Director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute at Oxford University, professor Andrew Przybylski, said: "Our findings demonstrate that screen use itself has at most a tiny association with youth mental health."

"Within the same dataset, we were able to demonstrate that including potatoes in your diet showed a similar association with adolescent wellbeing. Wearing corrective lenses had an even worse association."

This month the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said there was little evidence that screen time is in itself harmful to a child's health but recommended avoiding screens an hour before bedtime to help children sleep better