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TV Has Lasting Repercussions on Kids’ Weight

Kill your TV! So the saying goes of anti-boob tube activists. They may have a point, at least when comes to a child’s future weight.

A new study suggests that teenagers who spend hours in front of the television may have a poorer diet when they become young adults. The study included nearly 1,400 high school students, and found that those who watched TV for five hours or more per day had a less-healthy diet than their peers five years later.

As a whole, the group ate fewer fruits and vegetables, whole grains and calcium-rich foods, but more fast food, sugary drinks, fried foods and packaged snacks.

But hold on… researchers don’t have a clear answer as to why the bad choices are made.

“We’re not able to tell why,” says lead researcher Dr. Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The key circumstantial evidence seems to be that since kids snack in front of the television, and the choices tend to be unhealthy, that that may affect their long-term diet. The TV ads for fast food, sweets and snacks, most of which are marketed to a young audience, don’t help either.

February 14th, 2009

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