Does Watching TV Lead To Obesity?

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests there’s a causal link between watching junk food commercials on television and obesity. Alice Park reports for Time:

How much TV do your kids watch? If you don’t know, you might want to find out, say experts, since the time children spend in front of a TV or computer screen can have a profound effect on their physical and developmental health.

In a new policy statement on the role of media on obesity, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Communications and Media warns parents that TV watching doesn’t just make children more sedentary, but also influences their eating habits, which in turn has consequences for their health. In other words, it’s not just that TV watching encourages youngsters to be less physically active, but it also exposes them to food advertisements that contribute to develop poor eating habits that can set kids up for health problems as adults.

“We created a perfect storm between media use, junk and fast food advertising, and physical inactivity,” says Dr. Victor Strasburger, professor of pediatrics at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and member of the AAP’s Council. “We created a situation where we now have more overweight and obese adults in the U.S, than underweight and normal weight adults; it’s become an urgent public health problem.”

The policy statement highlights the fact that the harms of TV viewing go beyond promoting inactivity. More studies have shown that children who spend more time in front of the tube are more likely to eat higher-calorie foods, drink sugared sodas and grow up to be overweight adults. In a U.K. study that followed children over 30 years into adulthood, for every additional hour of TV youngsters watched on weekends at age five, their risk of being obese as adults rose by 7%. And in some cases, it doesn’t even take that long for the extra pounds to accumulate: a Japanese study found that children who watched more TV at age three were more likely to be overweight at age six…

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  • RedHerring

    There is no question it does. NONE.

  • Guest

    There is no question it does. NONE.

  • Aphex

    No, of course the TV is not to blame.

    Lack of Personal Responsibility, Health Education and ultimately the lack of a proper Nutrition Plan causes Obesity. The first steps in addressing Obesity (in order) are Health Education and Personal Responsibility.

  • Aphex

    No, of course the TV is not to blame.

    Lack of Personal Responsibility, Health Education and ultimately the lack of a proper Nutrition Plan causes Obesity. The first steps in addressing Obesity (in order) are Health Education and Personal Responsibility.

  • Aphex

    No, of course the TV is not to blame.

    Lack of Personal Responsibility, Health Education and ultimately the lack of a proper Nutrition Plan causes Obesity. The first steps in addressing Obesity (in order) are Health Education and Personal Responsibility.

    • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

      The same vein of saying, if you let your kids decide on your families eating habits(Mommy mommy! i want sugar-starch cereal!) instead of doing research and deciding on a healthy diet, then maybe there’s a problem

    • Penguins4life

      But also what is important is parenting. Parents today are spineless and give their kids too much freedom and they go crazy with it. Not to mention bad habits they pick up and school and what they see from TV. I have seen babies being given coke in a baby bottle! On top of that look at the food we eat. I dont even know if its natural anymore…

  • justagirl

    all the times i was watching the tv and skinny!

  • justagirl

    all the times i was watching the tv and skinny!

  • DeepCough

    It’s been well known that TV causes obesity: ever heard the term “couch potato?”

    As for the advertising angle, which states that ads for sugary, processed snacks, as opposed to fruits and veggies, are being targeted toward children, and that’s what they’re asking for, I have another adage: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

  • DeepCough

    It’s been well known that TV causes obesity: ever heard the term “couch potato?”

    As for the advertising angle, which states that ads for sugary, processed snacks, as opposed to fruits and veggies, are being targeted toward children, and that’s what they’re asking for, I have another adage: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    The same vein of saying, if you let your kids decide on your families eating habits(Mommy mommy! i want sugar-starch cereal!) instead of doing research and deciding on a healthy diet, then maybe there’s a problem

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    The same vein of saying, if you let your kids decide on your families eating habits(Mommy mommy! i want sugar-starch cereal!) instead of doing research and deciding on a healthy diet, then maybe there’s a problem

  • jackedu317

    this article should be titled, “we do what the T.V. tells us to do”…

    …the rest of them will watch television, and they’re goners.
    They’re gone. People who watch television won’t have a chance. It’s the
    greatest mind control tool ever devised…

                                                           
    Alan Watt – cutting through the matrix

  • jackedu317

    this article should be titled, “we do what the T.V. tells us to do”…

    …the rest of them will watch television, and they’re goners.
    They’re gone. People who watch television won’t have a chance. It’s the
    greatest mind control tool ever devised…

                                                           
    Alan Watt – cutting through the matrix

  • RodBlogDanOVic

    Oh, for the days when Disinfo had front page posts on the occult and UFOs. Snore.

  • RodBlogDanOVic

    Oh, for the days when Disinfo had front page posts on the occult and UFOs. Snore.

    • dumbsaint

      Stay tuned! ufoccult.com

      • RodBlogDanOVic

         Awesome, I love connective tissue.

    • dumbsaint

      Stay tuned! ufoccult.com

    • backrollteeth

      got to buy their books for that now im assuming. I just read generation hex and it was pretty kool but more for the initiate. But I agree where is the good stuff.

    • backrollteeth

      got to buy their books for that now im assuming. I just read generation hex and it was pretty kool but more for the initiate. But I agree where is the good stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Stay tuned! ufoccult.com

  • backrollteeth

    got to buy their books for that now im assuming. I just read generation hex and it was pretty kool but more for the initiate. But I agree where is the good stuff.

  • It

    I always do this. “Obesity leads to tv watching” 

  • It

    I always do this. “Obesity leads to tv watching” 

    • DrDavidKelly

      Yeah it’s not so much a correlation as it is a predisposition.

      • police dog

        true true. I just like reversing stuff to see if it lead to insight.

  • It

    I always do this. “Obesity leads to tv watching” 

  • It

    fat friends make you fat. but I dont like making them feel bad about themselves.

  • It

    fat friends make you fat. but I dont like making them feel bad about themselves.

  • It

    fat friends make you fat. but I dont like making them feel bad about themselves.

  • Nunya

    People are eating their televisions now?

  • Nunya

    People are eating their televisions now?

  • RodBlogDanOVic

     Awesome, I love connective tissue.

  • Penguins4life

    But also what is important is parenting. Parents today are spineless and give their kids too much freedom and they go crazy with it. Not to mention bad habits they pick up and school and what they see from TV. I have seen babies being given coke in a baby bottle! On top of that look at the food we eat. I dont even know if its natural anymore…

  • Dr David Kelly

    Yeah it’s not so much a correlation as it is a predisposition.

  • Mortimer

    No. Eating too much food makes you a fat cunt.

  • Mortimer

    No. Eating too much food makes you a fat cunt.

  • police dog

    true true. I just like reversing stuff to see if it lead to insight.

  • Guest

    The act of watching television does not. 

    However, watching an excessive amount of television leads to inactivity, which leads to obesity, particularly when one considers most people are eating while watching television. 

    The act of watching television, though, might very well cause depression. 

  • Anonymous

    The act of watching television does not. 

    However, watching an excessive amount of television leads to inactivity, which leads to obesity, particularly when one considers most people are eating while watching television. 

    The act of watching television, though, might very well cause depression. 

  • SF2K01

    I watched tons of TV after school for a while, then I grew up and now I rarely spend any time in front of the TV except maybe 1 or 2 shows a week. The problem is that some people never find anything more constructive and just keep wasting their time. If you are inactive, you will get fat, especially as you chow down unhealthy snacks while watching your programs.

  • Anonymous

    I watched tons of TV after school for a while, then I grew up and now I rarely spend any time in front of the TV except maybe 1 or 2 shows a week. The problem is that some people never find anything more constructive and just keep wasting their time. If you are inactive, you will get fat, especially as you chow down unhealthy snacks while watching your programs.

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