A recent study from Canada has shown that the number of hours spent watching TV between two years and four years old can have a detrimental effect on the size of a child’s waistline by the age of 10. The study, which was published in a BioMed Central journal, looked at the television habits of 1,314 children. One extra hour of TV viewing each week at age four could affect the muscle fitness of a child aged 10 and also increase the size of their waste by half a millimetre.
At the beginning of the study, children watched on average 8.8 hours of TV every week. Over the next two years, children increased the amount of time spent watching TV to 14.8 hours each week by the age of four years and six months. According to parents, over 18 hours of TV was being watched by 15 percent of the kids in the study. The results of the research indicate that watching 18 hours of TV at age four and a half would affect the size of the child’s waist at age 10, increasing it by 7.6mm.
The children were all tested for fitness and ability, carrying out a long jump test from standing position. Just one extra hour of TV at the age of four can decrease the distance jumped by the child at age 10 by 0.36cm. More research is required to establish whether watching TV is directly responsible for the issues with health that they observed. A co-author in the study, Dr Linda Pagani said that the study could be an indication and warning about the issues leading to childhood obesity.