Too much TV viewing contributes to childern being overweight - research

Picture: galleryhip.com

Cartoons are every child’s best friend. When children are watching cartoons the house gets to be a little quiet and maybe cleaner, and mommy also gets time to focus on other things. But how much time do you allow your children to spend watching television a day?

According to a study done by the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, children who watch television for as little as an hour a day are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese and gain more unhealthy weight over time.

CapeTalk/702 presenter Redi Tlhabi posed the question to listeners: how much television do you allow your children to watch each day?

George in Orlando-West fully agrees with the study. His children watched too much TV while having sweets and snacks; as a result they gained weight. It was after he limited their TV viewing time and allowed them to run around outside that they started losing weight.

Ndina in Pretoria central loves watching TV too much and she is unable to restrict her children from watching TV. She has a TV set in her bedroom, living room and the kitchen. Her children sit in front of the TV from 1.30pm until she comes back from work after 5.00pm.

Based on the findings, the researchers said physicians should encourage families to restrict young children’s TV viewing to prevent unhealthy weight gain.

Although the study wasn’t designed to prove that watching TV is the main cause of children becoming overweight or obese, it revealed the association between TV viewing and children’s weight.

5 tips to control TV viewing for children:

  • Create a curfew for TV viewing; limit the time to less than one hour per day
  • No TV set in children’s bedrooms
  • Take an active role by co-viewing programs with them and discussing values
  • No snacks and sweets in the TV room
  • Allow them to watch a learning channel to stimulate their minds

Here are some of the comments on twitter:

Listen to how other parents control their children's TV viewing times:


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