TV in the Bedroom Linked to Childhood Obesity


A new study finds the television in the bedroom harms children’s health. The TV is responsible for childhood obesity, as well as larger waist circumference.

Prolonged TV viewing increases risk of childhood obesity. More than two hours a day adds much to children’s waistline.

An investigative team from Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, discovered a relationship between the TV in the bedroom and the high waist circumference.

Averagely, an American child aged 8 to 18 years old watches about 4.5 hours of TV each day. Seventy percent have TVs in their bedrooms and one third of youngsters aged from 6 to 19 are reported obese. Previous researches have shown that TV viewing during childhood and adolescence continues even when people are adults, which leads to overweight and elevated total cholesterol.

DietBetween 2010 and 2011, 369 children and teens aged 5-18 were evaluated for a variety of factors such as fat mass, waist circumference, resting blood pressure, and others. The risk of having high levels of fat mass and fat in the bloodstream was doubly increased in children who had a TV in the bedroom. Viewing TV more than two hours per day also affected the same risk factors. Watching TV for five or more hours doubled the likelihood of being in the quartile for visceral adipose tissue mass.

The TV in the bedroom was related to three times the odds of high waist circumference, high cardio metabolic risk, and elevated triglycerides.

Viewing TV in the bedroom was found related to most concerning risks – it reduced amount of sleep and altered the habit of having regular family meals, both factors in weight gain and childhood obesity. The study also took into consideration factors like demographics, physical activity and diet in order to correctly assess the risks of TVs in bedrooms.

Watching too much television when linked to visceral fat is very hazardous – fat cells in the abdominal area produce hormones and other inflammatory substances. This can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or even cancer.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics the recommended time for kids to watch TV is two hours a day or less. Childhood obesity can be reduced by enrolling the child in sports activities, attending to a family dinner regularly and limiting the hours of TV viewed.


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