Published on 16/07/2012
The amount of television that toddlers watch has a dramatic effect on their waist size by the age of ten, according to a new study.
Researchers from University of Montreal analysed the waistline and activity history of 1,314 children. The two year olds monitored in the study watched an average of 8.8 hours of TV per week, rising to 14.8 hours for the four year olds.
Parents were asked about their child's TV habits. Trained examiners took waist measurements and administered the standing long jump test to measure child muscular fitness.
The team found that ten year olds who watched 18 hours a week at the age of four had waistlines 7.6mm bigger than those children who watched the average 14.8 hours.
In addition, the distance children could jump at the age of ten was reduced by a third of a centimetre for each extra hour of TV they watched per week at the age of two. Writing in the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, researcher Dr Linda Pagani said:
‘The bottom line is that watching too much television is not good.'
‘Across the [Western] world, there have been dramatic increases in unhealthy weight for both children and adults in recent decades.
‘Our standard of living has also changed in favour of more easily prepared, calorie-dense foods and sedentary practices.
‘Watching more television not only displaces other forms of educational and active leisurely pursuits but also places them at risk of learning inaccurate information about proper eating.’
According to experts, children with or without health insurance should not watch more than two hours of TV a day.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: Health