Junk TV blamed for obesity in children
American researchers found that the metabolic rate of children was significantly lower while watching television than while lying on a couch and resting.
They warn that children who watch excessive television are more likely to be fat, because their energy expenditure while watching is lower than if they were doing nothing at all.
Unresponsive and near-comatose children who spend much of their lives slumped in front of a television are common. But parents will be surprised to learn that their offspring may be in a 'deep, deep state of relaxation' while viewing, according to Mary Lee Shelton, a research assistant in the Department of Psychology at Memphis State University.
Ms Shelton and researchers at the University of Tennessee studied 15 obese children and 16 children of normal weight aged 8 to 12 years. Their metabolic rate was measured when they were resting, and when they were watching a popular children's show called The Wonder Years.
Ms Shelton found that watching the programme lowered the metabolic rates of both groups of children, and that this was more noticeable in the obese.
'There are two basic conclusions,' Ms Shelton said. 'One is that television puts the kids into a deep, deep, state of relaxation. The other is that children fidget more while they are resting (which increases the metabolic rate).' The study, published in Pediatrics journal, involved only a small number of children and one television programme, and further research is necessary, she added.
Dr Anne Sheppard, a child psychologist at Leeds University, said: 'Fighting with an older brother would be better for a child's development than watching television.'
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
- 4 Jozef Wesołowski: Former Catholic archbishop found dead ahead of child sexual abuse trial
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...