"The causes of overweight and obesity are complex and multiple. Screen time is part of the bigger picture and further research is needed among older children and adolescents, as the use of screen-based media including computers, mobile phones and tablets increases with age. We found that having a TV in the child's bedroom was an independent risk factor for being overweight and increased body fatness," Anja Heilmann, University College London, was quoted by PTI.Experts studied around 12,556 kids and concluded that those with a television installed in their bedroom were more susceptible to obesity over kids who didn't have a TV in their bedroom. Other associated factors that were studied included household income, mothers' education, breastfeeding duration, physical activity and irregular bedtimes and mothers' body-mass index (BMI) to represent the overall food environment in the household.
It was found that seven year old girls and boys - with a television installed in their bedroom - were 30% and 20% more susceptible to becoming overweight at the age of 11. Children's BMI at age three was included to minimise the possibility of reverse causation - the possibility that being overweight in the first place leads to spending more time in front of a screen. The number of hours spent watching TV or DVDs was linked to increased body fatness among girls only, indicating a dose-response relationship where the more TV the girls watched, the more likely they were to be overweight, researchers said.
Availability of television inside the bedroom also restricts any possibility of the child moving out of room. It may also trigger binge-eating and contribute further in the development of childhood obesity.
Inputs from PTI
Inactive lifestyle is one of the biggest factors leading to a host of ailments. Prolonged sitting coupled with inadequate physical activity is an apt recipe for failed health. Childhood obesity is one of the primary health concerns these days. Over exposure to technology, expanding inactive hours and consumption of junk food are some of the factors triggering developmental issues and obesity in kids all around the world. A recent study - published in the International Journal of Obesity - throws light on the ill effects of prolonged television exposure on kids' health.