Tags: tv | kid | weight | parent

Parental ‘Neglect’ Ups Kids’ Weight

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:16 AM

It’s no surprise that the nation’s children have become increasingly overweight because they are sedentary, spending too much time in front of the TV and computer. But new research suggests parents are to blame more than dramatic advances in the variety and gee-whiz appeal of new TV and personal-tech devices.
Two new studies by researchers at Oregon State University have identified key factors in parenting style that are associated with children’s sedentary behavior.
Investigators found kids with "neglectful" parents – those who aren't home often and spend less time with their kids – get at least 30 minutes more screen time on an average each week day than those whose moms and dads are more involved with them.
A more troubling finding: All of the children ages 2 to 4 were sitting in front of a television or computer screen for more than several hours per day, said lead researcher David Schary. What’s more, the amount of time children spent engaged in sedentary activities actually increased nearly one hour during the weekends, compared to weekdays, suggesting parental work schedules were not a key factor.
"Across all parenting styles, we saw anywhere from four to five hours a day of sedentary activity," he said. "This is waking hours not including naps or feeding. Some parents counted quiet play – sitting and coloring, working on a puzzle, etc. – as a positive activity, but this is an age where movement is essential."
The studies, published in the journal Early Child Development and Care, tracked about 200 families.
"When children are very young, playing is the main thing they do during waking hours, so parental support and encouragement is crucial," said Bradley Cardinal, a professor of social psychology of physical activity at OSU. "So when we see preschool children not going outside much and sitting while playing with a cell phone or watching TV, we need to help parents counteract that behavior."

© HealthDay

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Kids whose parents aren't home often and spend less time with them are less active, watch more TV.
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 11:16 AM
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