Televisions in Children’s Bedrooms and Obesity
Children who have a television in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight according to new research. Studies also show that children who have televisions in their rooms are more likely to be at risk from heart disease and diabetes. Researchers, in both the US and the UK, have carried out extensive investigations in order to determine the full effect of televisions in children’s bedrooms.
In one study carried out in the UK, 2,761 children were interviewed and it was established that 40% of the participants had a television in their bedroom. The study showed that children who had a TV, a computer, a DVD player or a games console in their bedroom were 1.47 times more likely to be overweight than those with no access to such devices in the bedroom. For children that had at least three of the aforementioned devices, the likelihood of obesity increased to 2.57.
A separate study carried out by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge illustrated similar results. This particular study involved 369 children from both genders and a variety of ethnicities. Things like waist circumference, resting blood pressure, cholesterol, fat mass and stomach fat were measured by researchers. The results confirmed that children with televisions in their bedrooms spent a lot more time watching the box and these children displayed a greater fat mass and waist circumference. Stomach fat and cholesterol levels were also considerably higher in children who had access to televisions in their own bedroom.
Whilst the television is cited as one of the main causes for this rise in childhood obesity, research shows other entertainment devices such as laptops and games consoles are also to blame. Most lifestyle experts recommend the removal of all such electronic devices from kid’s bedrooms and the implementation of tighter controls on their viewing habits.
Initially many families will find it difficult to reduce television usage. The ideal solution is to fill up the children’s schedule with other, more productive activities. The following tips may help in overcoming television addiction!
- Set a good example and reduce your own viewing habits too. Children are more likely to follow a strict schedule if they see you are doing the same.
- Offer enjoyable alternatives. Whether it’s visiting a zoo, a museum, a park or the beach, an outdoor family activity is great way to have fun and keep the children entertained without television.
- Reward children for sticking to the rules. Whether it’s buying them a new toy or book or taking them to an amusement park, encourage good behaviour with a suitable reward.
- When children do watch television, be sure to monitor their viewing habits. Set strict guidelines – many soaps and late evening programs often deal with themes that are unsuitable for children.
Author Bio: Karen Rayner
A former British Airways cabin crew member, Karen Rayner currently lives in Warwick with her husband and her two children, Charlotte and Jack. She is the founder of Childrens Funky Furniture, an online furniture store which provides imaginative and creative furniture items that appeal to young children. Karen also writes extensively about how to create artistic and vibrant bedrooms that children can relate to and enjoy.
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