Bedroom TV watching bad for kids

New research links obesity, diabetes and more to kids watching TV in bedrooms

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - New research shows that the amount of TV children watch in their bedroom can have negative affects on their health.

So if you're thinking about buying your child a TV for their room this Christmas, that's a really bad idea, according to nutritionists.

Health experts say their concerns aren't necessarily what kids are watching on the TV, but the impact the TV could have on their health.

Many have heard the term "couch potato," and many people know, too much TV can lead to bad health habits for kids.

But new research now shows that the amount of time kids watch TV in their bedroom is directly related to more belly fat, heart disease and diabetes.

The study reveals that 70 percent of kids between the age of eight and 18 already have a television in their bedroom.

Being parked in front of the TV too long can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and also sleep deprivation and anxiety.

On the flip side though, according to the study, outdoor activity increases a child's heart rate and ultimately, increases their developmental skills.

Researchers say too much TV also discourages family meal times.

Channel 4 spoke with parents who said this study makes sense.

"I feel as though TV does contribute to childhood obesity," mother Angela Patterson said. "Only because the hours of TV kids do watch, there is an inability for kids to move, or do anything physical."

The experts say newer technology like smart phones and computers also require a level of vigilance because food companies are marketing games and websites, designed to boost food consumption.