Watching too much TV in Early Childhood could lead to a Bigger Waist Size and Lower Fitness Ability by Age 10

Waist Measure - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - Researchers from the University of Montreal and Saint-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital found that children between the age of two and four that watched more hours of TV had a higher chance of having a bigger waist circumference by the end of fourth grade. Additionally, the children that watched more TV as toddlers had a reduced ability to perform sports activities when they were 10 years old. The study was published in today’s edition of BioMed Central's open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Lead author Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick and senior author Dr. Linda Pagani reported on the findings. Dr. Pagani explained that they interviewed the parents about the TV viewing habits of the children, measured the children's waist, and had them do a standing long jump. They found that for each weekly hour of TV viewing a child had at the age of 29 months decreased the child’s long jump distance about one-third of a centimeter.

Dr. Fitzpatrick explained that behavioral dispositions become well-established in childhood and these early years could be an important time for developing habits that encourage sporting activities even as adults.

The study involved 1314 children that participated in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. The parents were asked how many hours the children watched between 2.5 and 4.5 years of age. The average response was 8.8 hours each week at 2.5 years. The children that were 4.5 years old watched an average 14.8 hours of TV each week; a six hour average increase.

The researches explained that a child who watched 18 hours of TV each week at the age of 4 ½ would have an additional 7.6 millimeter waist measurement by the age of 10. They suggest that the waist increase is related to the habits they have.

More research would be needed to determine if TV watching is causing the increased waistlines and decreased physically ability. Another issue that could be contributing to this problem is that the food eaten is calorie dense.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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