If you wish to keep your kids occupied by having a TV in their bedrooms, it may not be a great help to their health. A new study suggests that kids with televisions in their bedrooms are more prone to weight gain than kids who do not. The study is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Lebanon, New Hampshire kept track of over 6000 kids from age 10 to 14 years old across the US through a survey. The kids’ Body Mass Index or BMI, which is based on the kid’s weight and height, were collected at the study onset. It was also taken during the 2-year and 4 year follow up during the study. The researchers also conducted telephone interviews with the kids’ parents and noted other factors including age, gender, control of television and movie viewing, video game playing in the household, parenting styles, ethnicity, household income and parental educational level.
Results of the study seem to indicate that kids with televisions on their bedrooms gain one pound more on average than kids who do not. But that is not all. The researchers also found out that kids with televisions in their bedroom also increased their average weight each year. While the television itself is not the primary cause of the weight gain, there seems to be a strong connection between the two.
The researchers also pointed out that the research started sometime in 2003 when television was the predominant form of entertainment among kids. Further studies may be needed in order to determine whether newer forms of electronic media devices like smartphones and tablets may also have a connection with weight gain among kids.