It seems that all those warnings about our children becoming couch potatoes if they are allowed to watch too much television are coming true. Now scientists have published details of a study carried out on children and the effect of watching television on their waistlines and athletic abilities.
Ten-year olds who had watched 18 hours of television a week at the age of four had waistlines that were 7.6 mm larger than children who had only watched the average 14.8 hours per week. Also, for every hour of television that a child watched at the age of two, it reduced how far they could jump by a third of a centimetre.
Over thirteen hundred children were monitored and already, fifteen percent of these were watching over eighteen hours of television per week. Dr. Linda Pagani, one of the researchers from the University of Montreal, said that it proves that watching too much television is not good for any of us.
She said that over the last few decades there have been worrying increases in obesity in adults and children. She said that our eating and leisure habits had changed and that now we all live far too sedentary lifestyles. Apart from the physical harm that this is doing to children there is also the mental harm.
People come to rely on television too much for information and this is wrong. Fellow researcher, Dr. Caroline Fitzpatrick, said that behaviour patterns are formed during childhood and so this is a very critical time for developing habits and preferable activities. If a child learns about performance ability in childhood, then this may encourage them to be more active