Dr. Bill tells us about the link between too much TV and childhood obesity. Show Notes

Monday, October 08, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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A recent study says mounting research shows that a child's media use may be directly linked to their body weight.

Pediatrician Dr. Sue Hubbard reports on child health issues for the Chicago Tribune, and she points out that the American Academy of Pediatrics has released a new policy statement on this issue. 

Titled "Children, Adolescents, Obesity and the Media" the AAP warns "American society couldn't do a worse job at the moment of keeping children fit and healthy - too much TV, too many food ads, not enough exercise, and not enough sleep."

The pediatric group reiterates that parents need to be paying attention to the amount of "screen" time their children get daily.

Total non-educational screen time should be no more than 2 hours per day. This limit should also be enforced in child care centers, after-school programs and community centers.

Dr. Hubbard points out that the many ads on the air for junk food and fast food only increase a child's desire for these products.  She says “It's easy to keep your child from buying Cocoa Puffs or Fruit Loops when they've never seen cute ads for these sugary cereals.”  

Children who are allowed to stay up late watching TV are not only exposed to numerous ads, but at the same time don't get enough sleep, and the combination puts them at greater risk for childhood obesity.

By the way, researchers say that kids see 5,000 to 10,000 food ads per year, most of them for junk food and fast food.

To read more about the new study and the AAP’s recommendations, go to www.aap.org

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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