Parenting: TV time and weight loss

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Parenting: TV time and weight loss

A new study just released shows how hard it is to tackle childhood obesity...but also how important it is for parents to encourage an active lifestyle for their children early.

Canadian researchers have found that cutting the amount of time a child spends in front of a television or video game, does NOT have much of an impact on reducing obesity. It's a finding that flies in the face of so many other studies that support the benefits of limited "screen time".

In other words, there has to be a multi-pronged approach to getting your child to become more active and healthier. Just turning off the TV alone won't work.

This latest study, which appears in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, studied 3,000 children - most of them obese. And very few of them lost weight when their television watching habits were reduced or monitored.

According to one of the researchers, "obesity is a complex problem that is probably not going to be solved by one particular intervention, in one particular setting... but that doesn't mean it can't be solved".

It is has been determined by dieticians and health specialists that television is a major contributor to childhood obesity, because it makes a child sedentary, turning them into future couch-potatoes.

But just turning off the boob-tube isn't enough. Some experts suggest doing more, like restricting TV watching during dinnertime and encouraging children to partake in structured sports or physical activities that involves some type of constant exercise.

The bottom line is this: changing TV habits will not necessarily change a child's behavior when it comes to food...simply confiscating the remote or video game console isn't enough. Parents may need to make a lifestyle change for their child and research shows the younger the sooner, the better.

Good luck.

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