Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Does Increased Television Watching 'Weigh Into' Childhood Obesity?

Date:
October 20, 2005
Source:
Elsevier Health Sciences
Summary:
Obesity is one of the major health concerns today. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children should not watch more than two hours of television a day. However, the average child in the U.S. regularly watches between 2-3 hours of television a day. Not only are children inactive while they are watching television, they often snack on unhealthy food choices. Two articles in the October issue of The Journal of Pediatrics describe the relationship between television watching and childhood obesity.

Obesity is one of the major health concerns among both children and adults in the United States today. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that children should not watch more than two hours of television a day. However, the average child in the U.S. regularly watches between 2-3 hours of television a day, and many children have a television set in their bedroom. Not only are children inactive while they are watching television, they often snack on unhealthy food choices. Establishing unhealthy habits as a child can continue into adulthood. Two articles in the October issue of The Journal of Pediatrics describe the relationship between television watching and childhood obesity.

Related Articles


Drs. R.M. Viner and T.J. Cole from the University College London evaluated the effects of early childhood television watching on adult obesity by assessing data from 8,158 participants of the 1970 Birth Cohort. Height, weight, and frequency of television watching were assessed at ages 5, 10, and 30 years. At age 5, approximately 40% of the participants exceeded the AAP's guidelines, although the average number of hours watched was 1 hours. The researchers found that each additional hour of weekend TV watching by five-year-old children over the AAP's suggested two hours may increase the risk of obesity in 30 year olds by 7%.

Drs. Kirsten Davison, Lori Francis, and Leann Birch from the State University of New York evaluated the television viewing behaviors of 173 girls and their parents. At both 9 and 11 years old, the girls watched an average of 1.9 hours of television a day, although approximately 39% of girls and 30% of parents exceeded the AAP's guidelines. Parents who relied heavily on television viewing as a recreational activity reported higher levels of television watching with their daughters. Girls who were exposed to two or more parenting risk factors for increased television viewing, such as the lack of parental limitations on their television watching and their parents' own television viewing habits, were five to ten times more likely to exceed the AAP's guidelines at both 9 and 11 years old. Girls who watched more than the recommended two hours per day were 2.6 times more likely to be overweight than girls who watched less than two hours.

Limiting the amount of time a child spends in front of the television (for example, removing televisions from children's bedrooms) may be a good way for parents to reduce the risk of obesity in children. Because parents' television viewing habits directly influences their children's, parents must serve as role models. Parents should limit the frequency of television viewing by encouraging alternate forms of recreation and selective program choices for themselves and their children. The TV Turnoff Network (www.tvturnoff.org) offers additional guidance for parents and children who want to spend more time away from the television. Although the increase in childhood obesity is not caused solely by television watching, Dr. Reginald Washington points out in the editorial that accompanies the articles, "Society, as a whole, must realize that to effectively control and prevent this obesity epidemic, all risk factors must simultaneously be reduced."

The studies are reported in "Links between parents' and girls' television viewing behaviors: A longitudinal study" by Kirsten K. Davison, PhD, Lori A. Francis, PhD, and Leann L. Birch, PhD, "Television viewing in early childhood predicts adult body mass index" by R.M. Viner M.D., Ph.D. and T.J. Cole Ph.D., and the editorial "One way to decrease an obesogenic environment" by Reginald Washington, MD. The article appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, Volume 147, Number 4 (October 2005), published by Elsevier.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier Health Sciences. "How Does Increased Television Watching 'Weigh Into' Childhood Obesity?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051020090219.htm>.
Elsevier Health Sciences. (2005, October 20). How Does Increased Television Watching 'Weigh Into' Childhood Obesity?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051020090219.htm
Elsevier Health Sciences. "How Does Increased Television Watching 'Weigh Into' Childhood Obesity?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051020090219.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins