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NZ: Kiwi kids turning into telly tubbies

An international study found New Zealand children are watching TV for large chunks of the day. Nearly a third (32 percent) watched between three and five hours – and 11 per cent viewed for more than five. This is on top of other screen-based activities, such as playing video games and social networking.

The researchers found links between TV watching and weight gain – particularly in adolescent girls.

New Zealand had the second-highest number of overweight or obese children of the 37 countries studied. Mexican children were the heaviest.

Public health consultant Robert Quigley, who has analysed more than 20 previous studies, told the Dominion Post that junk food advertising promoted obesity in those who watched more television:

“You think it’s because they’re a couch potato, but it’s actually about how advertising changes their diet. They’re watching marketing of low-quality food, or junk food – sugary drinks, chips, fast foods. It creates desirability, brand awareness, and when you’re in the supermarket children want it, and the adults want it as well,”

Read more about this study: Stuff, 12 Nov 2013

Published on November 13, 2013 in New Zealand news,TV advertising