PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thinking of getting your child his or her own TV?
You might want to reconsider.
A new study reveals the presence of a television in the bedroom leads to weight gain in children.
Researchers from Dartmouth University in New Hampshire surveyed 6,522 kids between 10 and 14 about “media risk factors for obesity,” such as having a television in their bedroom. The researchers then questioned their parents two to four years later about their child’s height and weight.
About 59% of the kids had a TV in their room, with boys, low income children and minorities more likely to own one.
At both two and four years after the initial survey, those children with a TV in their room experienced an increase in body mass index (BMI) of nearly one point, even when controlling for things like television and movie viewing time, video game playing, parental education levels and more.
While researchers say they don’t know exactly why these children gain weight, they speculate that it could have to do with disrupted sleep patterns.
“Having a bedroom television is associated with weight gain beyond the effect of television viewing time,” the study’s authors write. “With the high prevalence of bedroom televisions, the effect attributable to this risk factor among US children and adolescents is excess weight of 8.7 million kg/y.”
That’s nearly 20 million pounds.
To read more on the study, click here.