Children who watch as little as one hour of television per day are more likely to be overweight or obese in comparison to kids who watch less than an hour a day, according to a new study presented by Dr. Mark DeBoer at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego on Sunday.
In the study, which focused on kindergartners and first-graders, researchers analyzed data acquired from a survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics which examined 11,113 kindergarten students during the 2011-2012 school year. Just one year later, 10,853 of the kids had their height and weight measured; their parents were also questioned about their child’s television watching habits.
The results indicated that kindergartners in the United States watch an average of 3.3 hours of TV a day and those that watch television for over an hour a day exhibit significantly higher body mass indexes than those who watched less than an hour a day; researchers adjusted for socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity and even computer use.
The study’s author, Dr. DeBoer, MD, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Virginia’s Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, was quoted in a release on EurekAlert as having said that the “overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight” should lead parents as well as pediatricians to “attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing”.
Given overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight, pediatricians and parents should attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing (…) Given the data presented in this study, the AAP may wish to lower its recommended TV viewing allowances
In regards to just how much television children should watch, DeBoer was quoted by Newsweek as having said that “we would recommend no more than one hour of TV daily” based on the study’s preliminary findings.
Based on the results of our study, we would recommend no more than one hour of TV daily (…) We recommend that parents place limits on how much TV their children watch and replace viewing time with opportunities for physical activity and educational activities.
In other television watching related news here on Immortal News, a recent study conducted by the Ohio State University found that staring at computer screens and watching TV does not induce shortsightedness.