TV in the bedroom linked to childhood obesity

Children who have televisions in their bedrooms before the age of seven are more likely to be overweight or obese, a new study has found.

In their journal, authors from the University College London (UCL) say, ““Ironically, while our screens have become flatter, our children have become fatter.”

The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, analysed data from more than 12,000 children across the UK.

According to scientists more than half of the children had TVs in their bedrooms by the age of seven.

Of those children, girls were 30 percent more likely to be overweight or obese by the time they tuned 11, compared to 20 percent of boys.

As part of the research parents were also asked to document how many hours of television their children watched each day.

“Our study shows there is clear link between having a TV in the bedroom as a young child and being overweight a few years later,” researcher Dr Anja Heilmann said.

It is understood researchers believe the reason children with TV’s in their bedrooms are fatter is likely because they are getting less sleep or snacking in front of their screens.

Academics also suggested the risk factor for girls to be higher because they are less likely to be physically active compared to young boys.

However, study authors confess they couldn’t prove that a bedroom with a TV directly caused weight gain but said parents should think twice.

Meanwhile, researchers say they will now conduct a study to see if similar links can be made with mobile phones and laptops.

Recent Posts