Too much TV at Age 2 Leads to Teenage Health Risks

How much TV does your toddler watch? Too much TV now can affect them in their teen years.

A new study released by the Université de Montréal’s School of Psychoeducation warns that watching too much TV at age 2 can translate into poor eating habits in teen years and poor performance in school.

“Watching TV is mentally and physically sedentary behavior because it does not require sustained effort,” said study coauthor Isabelle Simonato. “We hypothesized that when toddlers watch too much TV it encourages them to be sedentary, and if they learn to prefer effortless leisure activities at a very young age, they likely won’t think much of non-leisure ones, like school, when they’re older.”

Researchers found that every hourly increase in toddlers’ TV viewing predicted poor eating habits down the road — an increase of 8% at age 13 for every hourly increase at age 2. For every hour of increased TV watching as a toddler, there was a higher body mass index and declined physical fitness by freshman year of high school.

So, ensure children are getting enough exercise now while they are young. By encouraging a healthy, active lifestyle in their youth, parents and educators can help kids and teenagers fight childhood obesity while supporting improved health in their adult years.

Children’s level of fitness NOW affects their overall health well into their future.

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