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Guess How Much TV Is Considered Too Much for Kindergartners

"Overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight."

Photo credit: Shutterstock

New research shows that for kindergartners and first-graders, just an hour of TV a day could be too much for a healthy waistline.

The study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey and found that children that age who watched 60 minutes or more of TV a day were more likely to be overweight or obese compared to children who watched less.

More specifically, children in kindergarten and first grade who watched even just an hour of TV a day were 50 to 60 percent more likely to be overweight and 58 to 73 percent more likely to be obese. Computer use, the study authors said, was not associated with being overweight.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

"Given overwhelming evidence connecting the amount of time TV viewing and unhealthy weight, pediatricians and parents should attempt to restrict childhood TV viewing," study author Dr. Mark DeBoer of the University of Virginia said in a statement.

The AAP currently recommends that children and teens be limited to two hours of screen time per day. But in light of this study, DeBoer said even that might be too much.

"Given the data presented in this study, the AAP may wish to lower its recommended TV viewing allowances," he said.

This research was presented Sunday at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Diego.

"U.S. kindergartners watch a significant amount of television daily currently," the study authors wrote in the research abstract. "Those watching at least 1 hour of television daily have a higher odds of overweight/obesity, even after adjustment for potentially important confounders. These data may have implications for appropriate guidelines for the amount of TV viewing allowed for kindergartners. With regard to risk of obesity, limiting TV viewing should remain a major focus for interventions in this age group."

(H/T: Science Daily)

Front page image via Shutterstock.


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