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    Children With Bedroom TV at Significantly Higher Risk of Obesity



    Summary: A new study reports 11 year olds who had televisions in their bedrooms at the age of 7 were more likely to be obese than those who didn’t.

    Source: University College London.

    In a UCL-led study of over 12,000 young children in the UK, the researchers reported that 11-year-olds who had TVs in their bedroom at the age of 7 had a remarkably higher body mass (BMI) and fat mass (FMI). Girls who have TV in their bedroom were at an approximately 30% higher risk of being overweight at the age of 11 compared to children who do not have a TV in their bedroom, and for boys the risk was about 20% higher.

    The study took account of other obesity-linked factors into consideration, such as household income, mothers’ education, breastfeeding duration, physical activity and also the sleep schedule. Mothers’ BMI was also taken into account to represent the overall food habit in the household as well as potential genetic influences. In addition, children’s BMI at age 3 was included to minimise the chances of reverse causation, i.e., the possibility that being overweight in the first place leads to spending more time in front of a screen.

    The research, which collected and used data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), established that over half of the 12,556 children sampled, had a TV in their bedroom at the age of 7. This finding is well in line with other recent UK reports on children’s media usage, which also suggest that children mostly use portable devices such as tablets and laptops in their bedrooms.

    The amount of time spent watching TV or DVDs was linked with increased body fatness among girls only. Part of the reason for this difference between the genders could be that already at this young age, girls are far less physically active than boys, as suggested by previous studies.

    Published: University College London.

    Contact: Rowan Walker, University College London.

    Details: Image source Unsplash


    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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