Science and Health

TVs In Children's Bedrooms Linked To Weight Gain

A Dartmouth study found kids with TVs in their bedrooms gained one more pound per month than those without TVs in their rooms.

TVs In Children's Bedrooms Linked To Weight Gain
The Plain Dealer

We don't need science to figure out that sitting and watching TV is less active than, say, riding a bike. But a new study suggests kids with TVs in their bedrooms actually weight more than those who don't have them.

The Dartmouth University study found kids with TVs weighed one pound more on average than their television-less counterparts. Not a big difference, right? Well, a writer for RedOrbit points out that one-pound weight gain wasn't a one-time thing. It increased by one pound per year.

The study looked at 10-to-14-year-olds over a four-year period. And while it didn't call TV the cause — 

"Researchers found the effect held even after they controlled for many other factors including socioeconomic status, parenting styles, education levels and total TV viewing time." (Via NBC)

What's more — that effect was present regardless of whether the children actually watched the TVs. That's right — in this study, the mere presence of a television in a kid's bedroom equaled a one-pound-per-year weight gain.

An article in The Plain Dealer says it's the location that's to blame. Compared to TVs watched by kids in other rooms of the house, bedroom TVs are "linked to more belly fat, higher triglycerides and overall greater risk of developing heart disease and diabetes."

It's the latest in what feels like a long line of studies preaching the seemingly obvious — too much TV is a bad thing for kids. (Via  WCCO)

But just when you think everyone's coming up with the same results —

Another study out this week said overweight or obese kids who play active video games — such as the Wii and Kinect — are more active overall. (Via YouTube / xbox)

And they lost nearly twice as much weight in four months' time as participants assigned to a weight-management program. (Via HealthDay

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids have less than two hours of screen time per day.