Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Neighborhood safety concerns boost TV time, but not necessarily obesity, in preschoolers

06.09.2005


Parents urged to turn off the tube, encourage outdoor play

If mothers of preschoolers perceive their neighborhood as unsafe, their children tend to watch more television, but differ little in amounts of outdoor play or overweight, compared to peers in safer neighborhoods. Drawing from a study of three-year-olds in 20 U.S. cities, researchers reported these findings in the September issue of Pediatrics.

"This is the first study to examine, in a national sample, the relationship between parental perception of neighborhood safety and obesity, physical activity and television viewing in preschool children," said study leader Hillary Burdette, M.D., a pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. "Because television viewing is associated with aggression and poorer academic performance in school-aged children, and TV-viewing patterns are established early in life, we decided to study such patterns in preschoolers."



The researchers tested the hypothesis that if mothers perceived their neighborhoods as unsafe, they would tend to keep their children indoors, and the children would have less outdoor play time and more television viewing time. They further reasoned that decreased outdoor activity would raise the preschoolers’ body mass index (BMI) and prevalence of obesity.

In fact, Dr. Burdette found no significant effect on outdoor play time or obesity in the preschoolers. "Although other studies have found some evidence that TV viewing is associated with higher BMI in children, this may only be true in older children for whom the average daily television viewing time is greater," said Dr. Burdette. "An impact on child BMI may not occur until an energy imbalance is sustained over several years."

The researchers used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a birth cohort study of nearly 5,000 children born in 20 large U.S. cities from 1998 to 2000. A follow-up study collected data from approximately 3,330 mothers when their children were three years old. Three-quarters of the parents were unmarried at the child’s birth, and 35 percent of the children were from households with incomes below the federal poverty level. Demographically, about half the mothers were black, one quarter were white and one quarter were Hispanic.

Dr. Burdette assessed the mothers’ perception of neighborhood safety with a questionnaire that asked the mother how often she saw gang activity, adult loitering, drug dealers, and other signs of potentially unsafe activity.

Almost two-thirds of the children watched more than two hours of television daily, with children in neighborhoods thought unsafe watching approximately 10 percent more TV (about 20 minutes a day) than children in neighborhoods perceived as safer. Obesity prevalence and outdoor play time did not differ significantly between children in safe and unsafe neighborhoods.

Dr. Burdette also mentions that one reason that outdoor play may not have been related to BMI is that outdoor play is not a direct measure of physical activity as some children can be physically active while playing indoors.

The researchers maintain that increasing children’s outdoor play time and making neighborhoods safer for children are two objectives that, if achieved, may still have beneficial impacts on children’s well-being, even if the two objectives are unrelated and even if neither improves fitness or reduces fatness. In the face of the obesity epidemic, it is intuitive to provide a prescription for parents to turn off the television and encourage their children to play outdoors.

Joey Marie McCool | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.chop.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>