Bedroom TV making Children Obese

Bedroom TV making Children ObeseResearchers have warned that TV in the bedroom of children may be actually making them fatter, regardless of the time spent watching TV. Children aged between 10 and 14 years having a bedroom TV were found weighing about 1lb more than their counterparts without a personal set in their bedrooms.

Experts cited disrupted sleep and great exposure to food advertising targeted at children for increasing Body Mass Index (BMI) of children. The BMI is used as a yardstick to assess overweight and obesity.

TV also leads to more sedentary behavior, negative influence of high-calorie food advertisements and more snacking. The study findings are significant for parents who may be placing their children at a higher risk of obesity by allowing a TV in the bedroom of their children, said lead researcher Diane Gilbert-Diamond of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Previous studies have shown that 40% of children who have a TV in their bedrooms by the age of five-and-a-half years are more likely to become obese by the time they reach eighth grade.

"With the high prevalence of bedroom televisions, the effect attributable to this risk factor among US children and adolescents is excess weight of 8.7 million kg [per year]", said Diane Gilbert-Diamond.

The researchers of the Dartmouth Media Study conducted a survey on 6,522 boys and girls aged 10 to 14 years at baseline over media risk for obesity.

It was found that 59.1% of participants had television in their bedroom at baseline, and that boys were 8% more likely to have a TV in their bedrooms than their female counterparts.

After doing follow up at two years and four years, the researchers reached at the conclusion that having a TV in bedroom increased BMI by 0.57 at two years and 0.75 at four years.