A survey has found that children who watch lots of television are not as likely to eat their five a day of fruit and vegetables. Rather they are more likely to snack on sugary drinks and eat sweets.
A previous study in the US looked at 13000 children and their television and eating habits but was unable to determine if watching TV made them snack unhealthily or vice versa. Though it was agreed that when access to the television was limited then the children ate less.
Previous research has shown that children who spend a lot of time watching television are more likely to be overweight; a theory for this is because of the persuasive powers of snack good advertising.
The latetst study looked at 12642 children in the US, both from private and public schools who all watched on average 2 and a half hours of television every day. It was found that for every extra hour watched the likelihood of them eating enough vegetables went down 5% and enough fruit 8%.
Each extra hour also meant that the children were far more likely to drink sugary drinks and eat sweets, 18% and 24% more respectively.
Ronald Iannotti from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said, "The effect of television is extending beyond just when they're snacking and watching television" as the effects of becoming overweight or obese can last a lifetime.
Original Article can be found here: http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/05/10/childrens-tv-time-linked-to-unhealthy-snack-food-eating/