Children who spend more time in front of the TV are more likely to consume sugary beverages, says a new study out of Sweden.
The reason? The more screen time, the higher their exposure to TV ads that bombard impressionable young minds with images of junk food, juice and sweets, reason the authors of a new paper published out of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
In fact, for every additional hour parked in front of the TV, the likelihood that the child consumed sugary drinks increased by 50 percent.
For their study, published in the International Journal of Public Health, researchers questioned the parents of 1,700 parents of 2- to 4-year-olds in Sweden about their kids’ screen habits and consumption of sweetened drinks.
Their findings showed that one in seven parents indicated they made concerted efforts to reduce their children’s exposure to TV advertisements, an effort that resulted in reduced consumption of sugary drinks and empty calories among children of these parents.
Children of parents who were less strict about TV time, meanwhile, were found to be twice as likely to consume sweetened beverages every week.
Another U.S. study published in March likewise found that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages contributed to higher caloric intake among kids who ranged between the ages of 2 and 18.