*This post originally appeared on The PediaBlog on December 14, 2012.
TVs In The Bedroom
Are you shocked?
A television in the bedroom raises a child’s risk for obesity, a new study suggests.
Previous studies have looked at BMI — body mass index — as the measurement of obesity. Rachael Rettner presents the results of this new study:
Children with a TV in their bedroom were about twice as likely to have high levels of fat mass — defined as levels in the top 25 percent — compared with those without a TV in their room.
Kids with a TV in their room were also more likely to have a large waist circumference measurement and high levels of fat in the bloodstream.
Also concerning, kids who watch more than two hours of TV a day — regardless of where they watch — have the same results.
To me, the fact that 70% of children in the U.S. have TVs in their bedrooms in the first place is what’s shocking. Rettner tells us that their sleep is impacted:
Watching TV in the bedroom may pose extra hazards compared with regular TV viewing. Studies have linked bedroom TVs with reduced amounts of sleep, a factor that itself has been linked to weight gain, said study researcher Amanda Staiano, of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.
Childhood obesity is a dangerous epidemic. It’s easy to point fingers at the various causes.
Just don’t point them at the children.