New research from the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children indicates that reducing time spent in front of the television and increasing a child’s sleep time result in reducing the risk of weight gain and becoming obese.
Specifically, this study followed children aged 2-5 for six months. Half of the children maintained their normal household routines, the other half reduced television watching by an hour a day and increased sleep time by 45 minutes a day. At the conclusion of the study researchers observed a slower, more appropriate weight gain and reduced Body Mass Index in the control group.
In addition to reducing television time and increasing sleep time, families were also provided maps to local playgrounds, parks, and outdoor recreation areas. Researches also provided information to parents about childhood nutrition and alternative activities to television watching.
The complete study is published in the online version of JAMA Pediatrics.
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