That might not be true, but a new study, published today in BioMed Central's open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, has found that the more hours young children spend watching TV, the worse their muscular fitness and the larger their waist size as they approach their teens, with possible consequences for adult health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two should not exceed more than two hours of TV viewing a day. However, evidence suggests that an increasing number of parents now use the television as an 'electronic babysitter'. As a consequence, a research group from the Université de Montréal, Canada, set out to determine whether there is a correlation between the number of hours spent watching TV in early childhood and subsequent physical fitness in the same school-age children.
The Canadian team used participants from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, and assessed parental reports of the number of hours the child spent watching TV per week at 29 and 53 months of age. Muscle strength and abdominal fat correlate with fitness, and, were therefore measured when children were in the second and fourth grade, using the standing long jump test and waist circumference.
The authors found that each hour per week of television watched at 29 months corresponded to a 0.361 cm decrease in the Standing Long Jump Test, indicating a decrease in muscle strength. An extra hour's increase in weekly TV exposure between 29 and 53 months of age predicted an extra 0.285 cm reduction in test performance. Also significant was that waist circumference at fourth grade increased by 0.047 cm for every hour of television watched between the ages of 29 and 53 months, corresponding to a 0.41 cm increase in waistline by age 10, or a 0.76 cm increase for those who watched more than 18 hours of TV a week.
Since physical fitness is directly related to future health and longevity, increased waist size and reduced muscular strength that carries into adulthood could predict negative health outcomes later in life. The team's lead investigator, Dr Caroline Fitzpatrick from New York University who conducted this research at the Université de Montréal and Saint-Justine's Hospital Research Centre, commented, "TV is a modifiable lifestyle factor, and people need to be aware that toddler viewing habits may contribute to subsequent physical health." She continued, "Further research will help to determine whether amount of TV exposure is linked to any additional child health indicators, as well as cardiovascular health".
Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.
Article citation and URL available on request on the day of publication.
2. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA) is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal devoted to furthering the understanding of the behavioral aspects of diet and physical activity.
3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.
Hilary Glover | EurekAlert!
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy