Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fussy babies spend more time in front of the TV

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
Moms, especially those who are obese, are more likely to use TV to entertain and soothe infants who are more fussy and active, according to researchers. The finding adds to the growing body of knowledge that may help explain the escalating rate of obesity and inactivity in US children, and has led to behavioral and educational strategies that may help mothers combat these effects.

Moms, especially those who are obese, are more likely to use TV to entertain and soothe infants who are more fussy and active, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The finding adds to the growing body of knowledge that may help explain the escalating rate of obesity and inactivity in U.S. children, and has led to behavioral and educational strategies that may help mothers combat these effects.

The study, led by nutritionist Margaret E. Bentley, is the first to examine the interplay of maternal and infant risk factors that lead to TV watching in infants. The research appears in the Jan. 7 issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"In the past, studies have focused on maternal factors for obesity and TV watching, but this is the first time anyone has looked at infant factors and the interaction between maternal and infant characteristics in shaping TV behavior across infancy," said Amanda L. Thompson, a biological anthropologist in the College of Arts and Sciences and first author of the study. "And that's important," she added, "because mom and infant behaviors are inextricably linked."

Bentley's team looked at 217 first-time, low-income black mothers and babies from central North Carolina who were part of a five-year study looking at obesity risk in infants. The researchers followed the mothers and babies in their homes at 3, 6, 9 12 and 18 months of age, looking at TV exposure, sociodemographic and infant temperament data. They asked how often the TV was on, if a TV was in the baby's bedroom, and whether the TV was on during meal times. Researchers also interviewed the mothers about how they perceived their children's mood, activity levels and fussiness.

The researchers found that mothers who were obese, who watched a lot of TV and whose child was fussy were most likely to put their infants in front of the TV. By 12 months, nearly 40 percent of the infants were exposed to more than 3 hours of TV daily -- a third of their waking hours. Households where infants were perceived as active and whose mothers did not have a high school diploma were more likely to feed their infants in front of the TV.

"Feeding infants in front of the TV can limit a mom's responsiveness in terms of examining infant cues, such as when an infant is telling mom he is no longer hungry," said Bentley, principal investigator and a professor of nutrition in UNC's Gillings School of Global Public Health. "This work has helped us design intervention strategies that will help teach moms how to soothe their babies, without overfeeding them or putting them in front of a TV."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

In collaboration with several UNC researchers, Bentley will lead a newly funded study from the NIH to develop home-based parenting strategies for infants to achieve healthy growth and development.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Amanda L. Thompson, Linda S. Adair, and Margaret E. Bentley. Maternal Characteristics and Perception of Temperament Associated With Infant TV Exposure. Pediatrics, January 6, 2013 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-1224

Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Fussy babies spend more time in front of the TV." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108132049.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (2013, January 8). Fussy babies spend more time in front of the TV. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108132049.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Fussy babies spend more time in front of the TV." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108132049.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Common Sleeping, Anxiety Pills Linked To Alzheimer's

Newsy (Sep. 10, 2014) Researchers found commonly prescribed sleeping and anxiety pills such as Xanax and Valium could lead to an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease. Video provided by Newsy
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