Tags: teen | tv | weight | loss | obesity

Limiting TV Helps Teens Shed Pounds

Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 01:34 PM




Parents trying to help their kids lose weight often turn to diets that limit fatty, sugary foods. But new research suggests a simpler, better weight-loss strategy for adolescents: Limit the amount of television they watch each day.
The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, are based on one-year study involving 153 adults and 72 adolescents from the same households who agreed to live by a “TV allowance” that gradually reduced their time in front of the tube.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Obesity Prevention Center tracked the study participants by conducting six face-to-face group meetings. They also sent monthly newsletters and set up 12 home-based activities. Television viewing hours, diet, and physical activity levels were measured before and after the intervention.
After 12 months, researchers found a “clear association” among adolescents between reduction in TV hours and decreased weight gain. The TV hours' impact on weight gain was not significant for adults.
"This study is an important piece of evidence that reducing TV hours is a powerful weight gain prevention strategy parents can use to help prevent excess weight gain among their children by changing the home environment and household television viewing norms," said lead researcher Simone A. French, the center’s director.
"We tried to intervene on behaviors that are related to energy balance, such as television viewing, sugar-sweetened beverage intake, physical activity, and consumption of packaged convenience foods. Although the individual contribution of each of these behaviors to excess weight gain and obesity may be small, it is important to examine their possible role individually and together in promoting excess weight gain. Associations between these behaviors and risk for excess weight gain may differ among adults and adolescents because of their different physical and social developmental stages."
Federal statistics show about 31 percent of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

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Cutting back on the amount of television adolescents watch each day keeps weight in check.
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Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 01:34 PM
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