Watching TV has shown to have many damaging effects on children and it has proved to affect their behavior and health. A study might have discovered a new negative side effect of children watching television which is childhood obesity.
A new research stated that children who spend at least an hour a day in front of the TV have greater chances of becoming overweight or obese compared to children who watch under 60 minutes of television every day.
Researchers used for their experiment information gathered from a survey following 11,113 American children going to kindergarten between 2011 and 2012.
Parents have also been involved in the survey and they were the ones who provided the information regarding the daily schedule of their child, such as how often they would play on the computer and how many hours per day they would spend in front of the TV during the weekdays and weekends.
Also, experts have measured the weight and height of the kids.
After a year had gone by, 10,853 of the children were measured again and parents were asked one more time about the hours of television watched every day.
The results of the experiment proved that American kindergartners would spend around 3.3 hours per day in front of the TV.
The children who would watch between 1 and 2 hours of TV a day had higher body mass indexes compared to those who watched between 30 to 60 or below 30 minutes per day.
Watching an hour of TV per day would increase up to 50 to 60% the chances of being overweight and from 58 to 73% the chances of being obese compared to the children who would watch under an hour of TV.
On the other hand, playing on the computer hasn’t shown to be connected to weight gain.
Moreover, kids watching one or more hours of television a day had 39% higher chances of becoming overweight and 86% higher chances of becoming obese during kindergarten and first grade.
The concerning connection between childhood obesity and the time spent watching television should alarm pediatrics and parents to prohibit their children from watching tv, stated the author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia, Mark D. DeBoer.
The amount of daily television watching recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics for children and teens is of maximum two hours per day.
But this amount of time is considered quite high by professor DeBoer who advised the AAP to analyse this study and maybe revisit the time frame.
Presently 1 in 3 children from the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has become three times higher from 1971 to 2011. Obesity in children has become the number one health problem of American parents.
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