Television in Child's Bedroom Linked to Unhealthy Lifestyle

Hispanic children with a television in their bedroom watch more TV/DVDs, consume more fast food

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Having a TV in the bedroom (TVIB) is associated with unhealthy behaviors in Hispanic children, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Du Feng, Ph.D., from the Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and colleagues examined the impact of having a TV in a child's bedroom. Data were collected from 315 Hispanic parents and guardians, and their 597 children, aged 5 to 9 years, using demographic questionnaires, acculturation scale, and a family survey. An age- and gender-adjusted body mass index was used to determine overweight status, and children's anthropometric measures were obtained.

The investigators found that more than 30 percent of the children were, or were at risk of being, overweight. In the sample, 70 percent of children had a TVIB, but demographic characteristics were not significantly associated with a TVIB. Children with a TVIB spent 0.93 hours more every day watching TV/DVDs than children without a TVIB. Children with a TVIB consumed more fast food, compared with children without a TVIB, whose parents provided more support for involvement in physical activities.

"This study found that having a TV in the bedroom was related to fast food intake and lack of parental support of physical activity, but not body mass index, in young low-income Hispanic children," the authors write.

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