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UK and US: TV watching linked to childhood obesity – two studies

Two recent studies explored the relationship between television watching and childhood obesity.

UK researchers looked at the effects of early childhood television watching on later adult obesity. They found that people who watched more weekend TV as children were more likely to be obese as adults and that every additional hour of weekend TV watched at age 5 increased the likelihood of obesity at age 30 by 7 %.

The researchers say that there are several possible reasons for this:

TV watching replaces time that could be spent being physically active, kids who watch more TV see more ads for unhealthy foods, and kids may eat junk food while watching.

In another study, US researchers evaluated the television viewing behaviours girls aged 9-11 years and their parents. They found that the parents’ TV viewing habits had a major effect on how much TV their children watched. They also found that 40 percent of children exceeded the recommended level of no more that two hours viewing a day.

In: The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 147 (4), Oct 2005

Read more: Newswise, 19 Oct 2005

Early Childhood TV and Parents’ TV Habits Linked to Obesity

Read more: WebMD, 20 Oct 2005

Published on October 19, 2005 in International news