Watching TV in childhood affects waist size, fitness: Study

Watching too much television can increase waist size in children and reduce their muscular fitness, study says.

A recent study finds that children who watch more TV between the ages of two and four may increase the risk of having a larger waist size and weaker muscular fitness as they approach their teens.

The new study, issued in the BioMed Central journal on Monday, suggested that every extra weekly hour of television watched could add half a millimeter to the waist size of children and diminish their physical fitness.

Researchers from the University of Montreal studied the parental reports of TV habits of 1,314 children at 29 and 53 months of age.

The children watched TV for about 8.8 hours a week at the beginning of the study. The habit was then boosted on average by six hours over the next two years, reaching to 14.8 hours a week by the age of 4.5, the Canadian researchers said.

Some 15 percent of the children were watching over 18 hours a week by that age, the study also said.

The researchers concluded that watching 18 hours of television at the age of 4.5 would result in an extra 7.6mm of waist by the age of 10.
Dr Linda Pagani, from the research team, said that the study was a warning about the factors that lead to obesity in kids. Saying, “Across the occidental world, there have been dramatic increases in unhealthy weight for both children and adults in recent decades.”

“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,” Pagani added.


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