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Study: TV leads to overweight in children in the long term
When young children watch a lot of TV, it has a long-term impact on weight, as Canadian researchers found in the course of a study. According to this, school children with high television consumption after the fourth grade have a larger waist size than peers who prefer other activities such as sports or free play.
Lots of television instead of sporting activities A Canadian research team led by Caroline Fitzpatrick and Linda Pagani from the University of Montreal examined 1,300 children aged two and a half with regard to their television habits. The scientists noted the time that the little ones spent on average in front of the television. Up to the age of ten, the survey was repeated several times. At the end of the study period, the researchers measured the hip size of the children and had them make a long jump from a standing position in order to infer muscle strength and athletic performance.
The result was clear: children with a high television consumption had a larger waist size and were less sporty than my peers who did other activities instead of watching TV. The Canadian researchers succeeded for the first time in establishing a scientifically proven, direct connection between television behavior and the weight and agility of children. The values between the sportier children and those who watched a lot of television were relatively low, but the negative effect increases with the years, the researchers report. "High TV consumption not only displaces active forms of leisure time, but may also teach a wrong picture of healthy eating," explains Linda Pagani.
While up to two hours of television per day are considered appropriate for children from the age of two in the United States, the German Federal Inspectorate for Media Harmful to Young People advises that children under the age of three not be allowed to watch television. For four- to five-year-olds, it is best not to spend more than half an hour a day in the presence of an adult.
TV advertising leads to overweight in children Children watch an average of between 20,000 and 40,000 commercials per year while watching TV. Around half of all advertising films relate to soft drinks, sweets and savory biscuits. This was the result of an evaluation by the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine (DGKJ) last year. The dear little ones are particularly receptive to advertising, since they cannot yet view promotions on television in a differentiated way. Many doctors fear that the high advertising consumption among children leads to an unhealthy diet and thus to obesity. (ag)
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