Recent study associates childhood obesity risk with television in the bedroom
Though chronic TV watching has been associated with various health problems, only recently has a study found that there is a marked association between the location of the television in the household and the prevalence of adiposity, or fat tissue growth in children.
For many Americans, the TV is a steady source of the latest entertainment, news, sports and movies. With the push of a button, a television set can provide a relaxing way to unwind after a busy day's activities. Though chronic TV watching has been associated with various health problems, only recently has a study found that there is a marked association between the location of the television in the household and the prevalence of adiposity, or fat tissue growth in children.
The survey was undertaken by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Investigating the relationship between a high waist circumference and the presence of a bedroom TV, the researchers used a sampling of 369 children and adolescents ages five to 18. Participants represented a balanced grouping of gender, ethnicity, age and body mass index (BMI) levels. From 2010 to 2011, the two-year study analyzed each child's waist circumference, resting blood pressure and indicators of overall mass from fat.
Childhood development problems and childhood obesity are associated with TV viewing, according to the findings of a similar but unrelated study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which examined how much time two-year-olds spent watching TV. However, the association between television and fat accumulation is less understood, explained lead investigator Peter T. Katzmarzyk, PhD.
A possible risk factor
"There was a stronger association between having a TV in the bedroom versus TV viewing time, with the adiposity and health outcomes," noted study co-author Amanda Staiano, Ph.D. "A bedroom TV may create additional disruptions to healthy habits, above and beyond TV viewing."