As a youngster, remember your mother warning you that watching too much television would give you square eyes? That might not be true, but a new study, published today in BioMed Central’s open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, has found that the more hours young children spend watching TV, the worse their muscular fitness and the larger their waist size as they approach their teens, with possible consequences for adult health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two should not exceed more than two hours of TV viewing a day. However, evidence suggests that an increasing number of parents now use the television as an ‘electronic babysitter’. As a consequence, a research group from the Université de Montréal, Canada, set out to determine whether there is a correlation between the number of hours spent watching TV in early childhood and subsequent physical fitness in the same school-age children.