How often have you been guilty of turning on the TV and setting your child in front of it to watch a cartoon or infamous Disney movie? Admit it! I know I’ve done it at least a few times in my kid’s childhood years and believe it or not, they have turned out to be college graduates.
But watching TV for hours on end keeps young bodies glued to their seats instead outside playing. Today's children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices.
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a two-hour cap on daily TV consumption in childhood, but a recent study suggests that most kids should watch a maximum of half of that.
Dr. Mark DeBoer, of the University of Virgina had his team assess data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, which included 11,113 kids enrolled in kindergarten during the 2011-2012 school year. Part of the study collected information around lifestyle factors that could affect a child's educational performance, including each child's computer usage and television habits as reported by his or her parents. The students' height and weight were also measured.
From this information the researchers found that children in kindergarten and first grade who watch at least 60 minutes of television a day are more likely to be overweight or obese than those less exposed to the tube.
Families need to get active and find alternate activities to “babysit” their children. What activities are you doing to keep your family active? Check these out.