If you don’t already limit your kids’ TV time, a new study might make you want to.
The study, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, showed that the more time kids spent watching TV, the more their waist sizes increased.
The study’s authors found that waist circumference at fourth grade increased by 0.047 cm for every hour of television watched between the ages of 29 and 53 months.
It may not come as a surprise that more TV watching means more sitting, which leads to weight gain, but how much it affects future health is a concern.
"TV is a modifiable lifestyle factor, and people need to be aware that toddler viewing habits may contribute to subsequent physical health," Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick, the team’s lead researcher, said. "Further research will help to determine whether amount of TV exposure is linked to any additional child health indicators, as well as cardiovascular health."
As Health Canada notes, habits formed early can last a lifetime. They also advise replacing computer and TV time with something active, and for kids aged 5 to 11, they recommend one hour (or more!) of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity daily.
What do you think? Does watching too much TV as a child contribute to weight gain later in life? How many hours of TV did you watch daily as a child?
-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor