A program instigated to reduce screen time for young children unexpectedly found a way to cut back on meals kids eat in front of the television, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics.
“There is strong experimental data that shows that reducing the number of meals in front of the TV may be the key to understanding screen time and obesity,” says Catherine Birken, a pediatrician and associate scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute in Toronto, who designed the study.
Researchers tracked 160 3-year-old children in the TARGet Kids! primary care research network, a combination of seven large pediatric and family medicine practices in Toronto. Parents counseled with research assistants. In general, their children were eating 1.5 meals per day in front of the television. They were told to reduce this by two meals per week by pronouncing meal time a TV-free zone and removing televisions from their kids’ bedrooms. Parents were also told to read their children a Berenstein Bears book titled “Too Much TV.”
The intervention did not reduce screen time, but it did help lessen meals in front of the TV. Birken considers the study a significant achievement that suggests that kids who habitually eat in front of the television aren’t as sensitive to food cues that signal fullness, Time reported.
“The new study is great because it means that people are looking at this and pediatricians are taking it seriously,” Dayna M. Maniccia, an assistant professor at the University of Albany who has researched screen time interventions, told Reuters Health.
Rachel Lowry is a reporter intern for the Deseret News. She has lived in London and is an English graduate from Brigham Young University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.rachellowry.blogspot.com.
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon