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Too Much TV Linked With Poor Food Choices For Kids

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 5/10/2012 7:57 am
The more time your kids spend in front of the TV, there may be less chance they'll make healthy food choices. That's the result of a new study that tied television viewing and unhealthy eating habits among school-aged children.

Researchers with the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development studied the TV viewing and eating habits of nearly 13,000 students in the 5th through 10th grades.

Results show kids who watched more TV had lower odds of eating fruits and vegetables and were more likely to fill up on candy and sugar-sweetened soda on a daily basis.

TV watchers also skipped breakfast more often and ate fast food at least one day per week.

Researchers say efforts to reduce television viewing or to change the nutritional content of advertised foods may help.

But many experts say parents are the first line of defense.

"You have to take a look and take a step back and ask 'who's providing the food at home?' Kids are influenced by their friends when they're a little bit older, but also taking a look at not just what's being seen on TV, but really looking at what's in our cupboards," recommended Carrie Gonzales, a registered dietician at Cleveland Clinic.

Complete findings for this study are in the "Archives Of Pediatrics And Adolescent Medicine."
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