Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

TV habits predict kids' waist size and sporting ability

Date:
July 16, 2012
Source:
Universite de Montreal
Summary:
Each hour of TV watched by a two- to four-year- old contributes to his or her waist circumference by the end of grade 4 and his or her ability to perform in sports, according to a new study.

Each hour of TV watched by a two- to four-year- old contributes to his or her waist circumference by the end of grade 4 and his or her ability to perform in sports, according to a world-first study undertaken by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Saint-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital.

The findings were published July 16 by lead author Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick and senior author Dr. Linda Pagani in BioMed Central's open access journal the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. "We already knew that there is an association between preschool television exposure and the body fat of fourth grade children, but this is the first study to describe more precisely what that association represents," Pagani explained. "Parents were asked about their child's TV habits. Trained examiners took waist measurements and administered the standing long jump test to measure child muscular fitness. We found, for example that each weekly hour of TV at 29 months of age corresponds to a decrease of about a third of a centimeter in the distance a child is able to jump."

In addition to providing an important indicator of health, in the form of muscular fitness, the standing long jump test also reveals an individual's athletic ability, as sports such as football, skating, and basketball require the "explosive leg strength" measured by the test. "The pursuit of sports by children depends in part on their perceived athletic competence," Fitzpatrick said. "Behavioural dispositions can become entrenched during childhood as it is a critical period for the development of habits and preferred activities. Accordingly, the ability to perform well during childhood may promote participation in sporting activities in adulthood."

Along with their parents, 1314 children from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development database participated in this study. When the children were 2.5 to 4.5 years of age, their parents reported how many hours of television during the week and weekend they watched. The average was 8.8 hours per week at the onset of the study, a figure that increased on average by 6 hours over the next two years to reach 14,8 hours per week by the age of 4.5 year. Thus, 15% of the children participating in the study were already watching over 18 hours per week according to their parent's reports at that time.

In terms of waist size, the researchers found that, at 4,5 years of age, the children's waist size increased by slightly less than half a millimetre for every extra weekly hour of TV the child was watching on top of what they had been watching when he or she was 2.5. To put it another way, a child who watches 18 hours of television at 4.5 years of age will by the age of 10 have an extra 7.6 milllimetres of waist because of his or her habits.

The researchers stress that while further research should be undertaken to establish that television watching is directly causing the health issues they observed, the study that was just published should encourage authorities to develop policies that target the environmental factors associated with childhood obesity. "The bottom line is that watching too much television -- beyond the recommended amounts -- is not good," Dr. Pagani said.

"Across the occidental world, there have been dramatic increases in unhealthy weight for both children and adults in recent decades. Our standard of living has also changed in favor of more easily prepared, calorie-dense foods and sedentary practices. Watching more television not only displaces other forms of educational and active leisurely pursuits but also places them at risk of learning inaccurate information about proper eating. These findings support clinical suspicions that more screen time in general contributes to the rise in excess weight in our population, thus providing essential clues for effective approaches to its eradication." Children over the age of two should not watch more than two hours of television per day, according to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universite de Montreal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Caroline Fitzpatrick, Linda S Pagani, Tracie A Barnett. Early childhood television viewing predicts explosive leg strength and waist circumference by middle childhood. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2012; 9 (1): 87 DOI: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-87

Cite This Page:

Universite de Montreal. "TV habits predict kids' waist size and sporting ability." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120716090329.htm>.
Universite de Montreal. (2012, July 16). TV habits predict kids' waist size and sporting ability. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120716090329.htm
Universite de Montreal. "TV habits predict kids' waist size and sporting ability." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120716090329.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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