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Study: Bedroom TV Boosts Obesity

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:05 PM

Prior research has already linked watching television with childhood obesity, but a new study finds that kids who have televisions in their bedrooms are at greater risk.
Researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, looked at data on nearly 370 children ages 5 to 18. Rather than rely on body mass index readings, they had all of the subjects undergo body scans to measure their fat mass.
Results showed that children who had a television in their bedroom were twice as likely to have a high fat mass than kids who didn't have a TV in their room. Kids with a bedroom television were also more likely to have a large waist circumference. Viewing TV for more than two hours a day was linked to these same risks, the study found.
"A bedroom TV may create additional disruptions to healthy habits, above and beyond regular TV viewing," says study coauthor Dr. Amanda Staiano. "For instance, having a bedroom TV is related to lower amounts of sleep and lower prevalence of regular family meals, independent of total TV viewing time." She adds: "Both short sleep duration and lack of regular family meals have been related to weight gain and obesity."
The average American child from age 8 to 18 watches about 4.5 hours of TV each day, the researchers said. Seventy percent have a TV in the bedroom and about one-third are considered obese.
The new study, announced Tuesday, will be published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
In a separate study published in October in the journal Pediatric Obesity, researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada found that electronic devices — televisions, computers, and mobile phones — in kids' bedrooms are linked with both poor sleep and obesity.

© HealthDay

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The risk of childhood obesity is increased with the amount of time spent watching television and the risk is even worse if the television is in the child's bedroom.
Wednesday, 12 December 2012 12:05 PM
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