The average American child from age 8 to 18 watches about 4.5 hours of TV each day. Seventy percent have a TV in the bedroom and about one-third of youth aged 6-19 is considered obese. Previous studies have shown that TV viewing time during childhood and adolescence continues into adulthood, resulting in overweight and elevated total cholesterol. An investigative team from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, LA reports new study findings, establishing the relationship between having and watching TV in the bedroom and childhood obesity, specifically high waist circumference.
"The established association between TV and obesity is predominantly based on BMI. The association between TV and fat mass, adiposity stored in specific depots (including abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue), and cardiometabolic risk, is less well understood," says lead investigator Peter T. Katzmarzyk, PhD. "It is hypothesized that higher levels of TV viewing and the presence of a TV in the bedroom are associated with depot-specific adiposity and cardiometabolic risk."
Between 2010 and 2011, 369 children and adolescents aged 5-18 in Baton Rouge, representing a balance between gender, ethnicity, age, and BMI status, were evaluated for a variety of factors, such as waist circumference, resting blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and glucose, fat mass, and stomach fat.