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Friday, 01 May 2015 14:45

To Fight Childhood Obesity, Turn Off The TV!

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'Want to help prevent your kids from becoming overweight or obese? Then turn the TV off.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports on a new study to be published in the journal Obesity. Dr. Mark DeBoer from the University of Virginia found that kindergarteners and first graders who watch more than an hour of television a day have a 50% greater chance of becoming overweight, and a 70% greater chance of becoming obese, than those who don't. The study tracked over 12,000 children.

According to the Neilsen Company, which compiles statistics for TV viewing, kids age 2-11 currently watch 3.5 hours of TV a day. That is nearly double the amount of two hours per day recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013.

DeBoers said he hopes the results will lead to a revised standard, and more funding for resources like parks, libraries and programs that encourage physical activity.

Dr. Nick Yphantides, the chief medical officer in San Diego County and author of "My Big Fat Greek Diet" called the information "groundbreaking," and said that, "This is very solid data that shows the importance of decisions and parental stewardship in the lives of children very early in life." Since 2010, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency has participated in programs which target obesity in specific neighborhoods.

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