Watching TV May Result to Larger Waistline in Children
Even with the advent of computers, tablets, and smartphones, watching television remains a favorite past time among children. But beware with the habit, though, because a new study found that children’s muscular fitness decreases the more hours they spend in front of the television. Consequently, their waist lines become larger as they approach their teens; thereby, posing potential threat in their health as they reach adulthood.
The study, featured in BioMed Central’s open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, was conducted by a team of researchers from Montreal University in Canada to investigate the relationship between early childhood television viewing and physical fitness in school age children. A sample of 1,314 children from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development were examined for the study.
The researchers found for each hour per week of watching TV at the age of 29 months, children scored 0.361 cm less in the Standing Long Jump. A one hour increase in average weekly television exposure from 29 to 53 months was associated with a further 0.285 cm reduction in Standing Long Jump test performance. Interpretation of the study result suggested that watching television excessively in early childhood, may eventually compromise muscular fitness and waist circumference in children as they approach pubertal age.
“TV is a modifiable lifestyle factor, and people need to be aware that toddler viewing habits may contribute to subsequent physical health. Further research will help to determine whether amount of TV exposure is linked to any additional child health indicators, as well as cardiovascular health,” said leading researcher Dr Caroline Fitzpatrick from New York University
Several studies in the past have link television watching to obesity in children — an epidemic that is affecting millions of children in the United States. The growing cases of child obesity in the country has alarmed the government and parents due to the consequences it may contribute to the health of affected children.Tags: childhood obesity, childhood obesity risk, watching TV links to larger waistline