With over one-third of American children overweight, the search is on to figure out why. Happy Meals get blamed, as do sodas, trans fats and just about everything else.
A new study even blames television - not necessarily how much time is spent watching it, but having it in the bedroom. The paper in JAMA associated a bedroom television with weight gain in children and adolescents, and say it is unrelated to the time they spend watching.
Their evidence: a telephone survey in 2003 of 6,522 boys and girls (ages 10 to 14 years) that asked about bedroom televisions. Body mass index (BMI) at two and four years after baseline was based on self-report and parent-reported weight and height for their children. They found that an estimated 71 percent of children and adolescents (ages 8 to 18 years) have bedroom televisions.
Diane Gilbert-Diamond, Sc.D., of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, N.H., and colleagues report that, at baseline, 59.1 percent of the children surveyed reported having a bedroom television.
It's pretty good to be poor in America because more poor and minority kids have bedroom televisions. Boys also have them more than girls. Having a bedroom television was associated with an excess BMI of 0.57 at two years and 0.75 at four years of follow-up, and a BMI gain of 0.24 between years two and four.
The authors speculate the association could possibly be due to disrupted sleep patterns or greater exposure to child-targeted food advertising, although their analysis did not investigate causal reasons.
“This study suggests that removing bedroom televisions may be an important step in our nation’s fight against child obesity. … This work underscores the need for interventional studies to explore whether removing televisions from child bedrooms results in lower adiposity (fat) gain," they wrote.
Citation: JAMA Pediatrics March 3, 2014, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.3921
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Researchers Created A Laser Bullet To See What It Would Look Like - And Here It Is
- Great Earthquakes Doubled In The Most Recent 10 Year Period - What That Means
- What Americans Fear Most Isn't Ebola Or Terrorism, It's...
- ECFA Workshop: Planning For The High Luminosity LHC
- The Comets Of Beta Pictoris
- Slavery In America: Back In The Headlines
- Dams Are Not The Smart Way To Secure Water For Agriculture
- "Hi Valerie, thanks for writing.If you look up papers on existential dread, you should find some..."
- "If journal articles like this one would reference the science and the data instead of the politics..."
- "people, the claim that: 1 you do not believe in god, 2 you exist QED atheists exist is fatuous..."
- "I'm sorry Mark, but . . . the argument that the belief in God or gods is falsified the claim that..."
- "I mean terrible states and related issues, and tautological determinism, which is so scary that..."
- National Wildlife Refuge System bans on GMOs and neonics lack transparency, scientific rationale
- Want better sperm? Eat more pesticides
- Beyond universal donors, some people are programed with no blood type at all
- Anti-conventional ag movement spurs Big Ag to look to organic pesticides
- Can people really inherit memories?
- An end to fat shaming? The 50 year DNA mystery of metabolic dysfunction may soon be solved