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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
Nutrition & Wellness Channel
Reported December 12, 2012

Bedroom TVs Make Kids Fat?


(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Seventy percent of American children have a TV in their bedroom; a trend that is increasing in American culture is also increasing our children’s waistlines.
The average child in the US from ages 8 to 18 watches around 4.5 hours of TV every day and about one-third of these children are considered obese.  Research shows that TV habits continue into adulthood, resulting in adult obesity and elevated cholesterol.  
"The established association between TV and obesity is predominantly based on BMI. The association between TV and fat mass, adiposity stored in specific depots (including abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue), and cardiometabolic risk, is less well understood.  It is hypothesized that higher levels of TV viewing and the presence of a TV in the bedroom are associated with depot-specific adiposity and cardiometabolic risk,” lead investigator, Peter T. Katzmarzyk, PhD, at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA, was quoted as saying.
The study involved 369 children and adolescents from ages 5 to 18 in 2010 and 2011.  There was a mix between gender, age, ethnicity, and BMI status.  They were evaluated for a variety of factors like waist circumference, fasting triglycerides, resting blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glucose, fat mass, and stomach fat.  
The study revealed that children with a TV in their bedroom were more likely to watch more TV.  They also had more fat and tissue mass, as well as higher waist circumference.  Kids with a TV in their bedroom and who watched more than two hours a day, were 2.5 times more likely to be in the highest levels of fat mass.  Children who viewed five or more hours a day were two times more likely to be in top quartile for visceral adipose tissue mass.  Also, a bedroom TV associated with three times the odds of elevated cardiometabolic risk, elevated waist circumference and triglycerides.
"There was a stronger association between having a TV in the bedroom versus TV viewing time, with the adiposity and health outcomes.   Bedroom TV may create additional disruptions to healthy habits, above and beyond regular TV viewing. For instance, having a bedroom TV is related to lower amounts of sleep and lower prevalence of regular family meals, independent of total TV viewing time. Both short sleep duration and lack of regular family meals have been related to weight gain and obesity,” co-author, Amanda Staiano, PhD, was quoted as saying.
SOURCE: American Journal of Preventive Medicine, December 2012
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