The more hours that toddlers watches television, the worse their muscular fitness and the larger their waistline size will be, by the time they approach their teens, claims a research group from the Universite de Montreal, Canada. Children under the age of two should not watch television more than two hours a day, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Canadian study tracked the television habit of more than thirteen hundred children. The researchers found that the average amount of watching TV by children at the start of the study was more than eight hours. This increased to an average by six hours over the next two years and reach up to fourteen and half hours a week by the age of four-and-a-half.
About fifteen percent of the children in the study were watching TV for more than eighteen hours a week by the similar age, reported their parents. Researchers measure the waist circumference as well as conducted a standing long jump test to measure each child’s muscular fitness and athletic ability.
The study findings showed that waistlines of ten-year-olds who had watched TV for eighteen hours a week at the age of four were seven and half mm bigger than those of children who had watched TV for an average amount of fifteen hours. Besides, an extra weekly hour of TV can decrease the distance a child is able to jump from standing by 0.36cm.
More study was needed to work out whether television watching is directly accountable for the health issues they observed. Study co-author Dr Linda Pagani, explained the bottom line is that watching too much television is not good. Across the occidental world, there have been dramatic increases in unhealthy weight for both children and adults in recent decades.
The standard of living has also changed in favour of more easily prepared, calorie-dense foods and sedentary practices. Watching more television not only displaces other forms of educational and active leisurely pursuits but also places them at risk of learning inaccurate information about proper eating added Dr Pagani.
Lead investigator Dr Caroline Fitzpatrick, stated TV is a modifiable lifestyle factor, and people need to be aware that toddler viewing habits may contribute to subsequent physical health. Further research will help to determine if the amount of TV exposure is linked to any additional health indicators as well as cardiovascular health.
The study was published the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.