MomTrusted on Parenting, Kids, and Early Education

Your Toddler and TV: Why it’s Unhealthy

Children who increased the number of hours a week they spent watching TV between the ages of 2 and 4 may risk weight problems later on in life, a new study shows. After surveying the TV habits of more than 1,300 children, the Canadian study found that children whose weekly TV intake increased over the two-year time period had a higher-than-average waist circumference by age 10, and may have a greater chance of becoming overweight as adults.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children older than 2 not watch more than two hours of TV per day. The study found watching 18 hours of TV a week at 4.5 years of age would result in an extra 7.6 millimeters of waistline by age 10. Watching more than the recommended amount of TV may set up these youngsters for weight problems in high school and into adulthood.

 

Remaining sedentary throughout the day and eating nutrient-rich food is primarily to blame for the study’s results. The average amount of time spent in front of the TV was 8.8 hours per week at the start of the study (age 2). This increased to 14.8 hours per week by the end of the study two years later. Although XL toddler Halloween costumes may seem cute now, it may actually be an indication of a problem your child will battle later in life.

 

Changes You Can Make

If you’re a parent with a baby or a toddler, there are certain things you can do to limit their time spent in front of the TV and nip this potential health problem in the bud. First, permit your child to watch no more than two hours of TV per day. This includes movies. Encourage them go outside and be active; sign them up for peewee sports teams or just give them something to do in the great outdoors. Yes, it’s OK to make them do it – you are the parent, after all. Just like watching TV, playing sports and being outside enjoying Mother Nature are also habit-forming. An active lifestyle allows kids less time to be sedentary.

 

Remember to limit what they eat while watching TV, or eliminate this entirely. Give them nutritional supplements from companies such as Fortune-Hi Tech Marketing to help ensure they are getting the correct amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Eating a box of cookies while watching TV is a fast track to cardiovascular problems later in life, as well as put them at risk for diabetes and other complications.

 

Make TV Time Count

If your toddler is going to watch TV for an extended period of time, make sure it’s educational, like “Sesame Street” or “Dora the Explorer” – at least they’ll be working out their minds, if not moving their bodies.

 

Serious Health Risks

Beyond the health risks associated with a child being overweight and possibly diabetic, there are other negative effects of watching so much TV. The toddler years are an important developmental phase and habits children learn during this time are often formed for the rest of their lives. Excessive TV may also lead to social problems, as TV is no substitute for real-world interaction with children their own age.

Setting limits on the amount of TV your child can watch is only part of the battle. Making healthy choices like using FHTM products and getting your children outside will also help your child want to be healthier and more active.

 
Lenny Houston A nutritionist and weight trainer, Lenny has also devoted much of his time to creating healthy and delicious recipes for people with food restrictions and allergies. He is currently working on a cookbook for the vegan, gluten free and diabetic.

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