According to a new study, children who are in kindergarten and 1st grade and watch at least one hour of TV daily are more likely to be overweight or obese, compared to the kids that spend less time watching television.
At the moment, the official recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children should not spend more than two hours in front of the TV on a daily basis.
The new study suggests that children should cut down their TV time by half.
Dr. Mark DeBoer, a researcher at the University of Virginia and the author of the new study, explained that children who watched TV one or more hours daily were heavier compared to those who are watching less than an hour.
Dr. DeBoer and his team collected the data for their study from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey. This included 11,113 kids who were going to kindergarten during 2011 and 2012.
The study collected information regarding the children’s lifestyle factors that are known to affect their educational performances, factors like daily computer usage and TV habits.
The study included information like the kids’ weight and height.
A year later, the researchers collected and analyzed the same information from the same students to see if there were any links between the kids’ TV watching habits and their weight.
According to the researchers’ findings, the children that were in kindergarten and in the first grade who spent 1-2 hours per day watching TV had a higher body mass index compared to the children who watched television for an hour or less daily.
The study showed that the kids who spent at least 60 minutes in front of the TV were 39% more likely to become overweight and about 86% of becoming obese.
The scientists did not find a link between the kids’ computer use and their weight.
This is not the first study to link the amount of time spending watching television to the risk of obesity.
A study published by a team of researchers in 1985 examined children between the ages of 6 and 11 and concluded that
“we fatten our children at the television set.”
Although the current study did not show how spending time in front of the TV for more than 2 hour can lead to weight gain, some previous studies have said that kids being exposed to commercial could be one of the factors.
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