Kids’ Waist Size Linked to TV Habits
According to Canadian research published in a BioMed Central journal, the number of hours children between the ages of two and four watch television every week are linked to the size of their waistlines. The study of 1,314 children found that every extra hour of TV kids watch each week could add one-half of a millimetre to the circumference of their waist, as well as reduce muscle fitness.
Experts say kids shouldn’t watch more than two hours a day of television. This comes as researchers found that, at the beginning of the study, the average amount of TV watched by two-year-old kids was 8.8 hours per week. This increased an average six hours over the following two years to 14.8 hours per week. By then, the children were 4-and-a-half years of age.
Fifteen percent of the kids’ parents said their children were watching over 18 hours of television a week. The study says that the effect of 18 hours in front of the television at the age of 4-and-a-half would result in an extra 7.6mm around the child’s waistline by the age of ten.
The researchers measured waist circumference and carried out a standing long jump test to measure the muscular fitness and athletic ability of the every kid. They found that one more hour of television watching every week can decrease the distance a child can jump by 0.36cm. Despite the findings, the researchers said more studies are needed to determine if television is directly responsible for the health concerns they observed.