Cutting down chidren's TV time makes them healthier

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London, Mar 4 (UNI) Do not stick to television is what most parents warn their kids of, and with the findings of the latest study, the warning seems to be reasonable.

The US researchers have shown that stopping children from watching TV makes them healthier and less fat as by doing so they are less in contact with the advertisements and cartoons that prompt them to eat junk food.

''Television viewing is related to consumption of fast food and foods and beverages that are advertised on television. Viewing cartoons with embedded food commercials can increase choice of the advertised item in pre-schoolers, and television commercials may prompt eating,'' said lead researcher Leonard Epstein of the State University of New York in Buffalo.

The team started with 70 children aged between four and seven who were in the most obese 25 per cent of the population, according to measurements of their body mass index. In half of the children's homes the team fitted limiting devices to their TVs and computers which prevented them from watching for more than a pre-set amount of time, the Guardian reported.

It was found that in the group who had their TV watching curtailed, the children's daily calorie intake dropped by more than 300 from 1,550, or around 150 more than the drop in the control group. The group also lost weight and ended up with an age-adjusted BMI more than 0.2 lower, from around 19.2, after two years than at the start. Their reduction was more than 0.1 higher than the control group. The first group were also less sedentary, but they were not more active. Findings of the study are published in the journal Archives of Paediatric and Adolescent Medicine.

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