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HHS HealthBeat (April 21, 2014)

TV in kids’ bedrooms

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

A TV in a child’s bedroom might lead to a heavier child. At the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, New Hampshire, researcher Diane Gilbert-Diamond saw this in survey data of about 6,500 children ages 10 to 14.

She looked for changes in body mass index – a ratio of weight to height – over two and four years. Gilbert-Diamond says body mass index consistently rose for children with TVs in the bedroom

“This was equivalent to about one pound excess weight gain per year, which can lead to substantial weight gain over childhood.”

She suspects the kids got less sleep and saw  more junk food ads, and she thinks TVs should not be in kids’ bedrooms.

The study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: April 21, 2014