Two hours of daily TV viewing doubles kids’ obesity risk

November 14th, 2007 - 3:05 am ICT by admin  
Researchers in the US found that kids glued to the small screen for between two and four hours a day are 2.5 times more likely to have hypertension, which can result in heart disease and stroke in later life.

That shot up to 3.3 times the risk for children watching TV for four hours or more each day, researchers said.

The study also revealed that children tended to be more dangerously overweight the more time they spent watching TV.

According to researchers, ‘couch potato’ children are not only physically inactive but also exposed to TV commercials selling high-fat and other junk foods.

For the study, the team examined 546 children aged four to 17, who were assessed for obesity at child health clinics in California from 2003 to 2005.

The results showed that those who spent more time watching TV were at greater risk of obesity and high blood pressure.

However, Dr Stuart Biddle, from the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University, said that the causes of childhood obesity were more intricate than just watching too much TV.

“Obesity levels are increasing but TV viewing figures are not; obesity increases during adolescence at the same time that TV viewing decreases; and boys watch more TV than girls but show less obesity and greater physical activity,” the Daily Mail quoted him, as saying.

The study is published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (ANI)

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