TV in the bedroom may affect a child's weight

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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If your child has a television in their bedroom, he or she may be at an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese. A new study finds a link between kids with bedroom TVs and an increase in body mass index, or BMI.

"So, if you have a television in your child's bedroom they're much more likely to have a higher BMI. Their BMI is about a half of a point higher than a kid who doesn't have a TV in their bedroom," said Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatrician Dr. Sara Lappe.

Dartmouth University researchers surveyed more than 6,500 boys and girls aged 10 to 14 years old. About 59 percent of them reported having a television in their bedroom.

Results show having a television in the bedroom was associated with an increase in BMI two years after the study began and at four years, too.

Researchers say the next step might be to study whether removing televisions from kids' rooms can cause weight loss. Lappe agrees and says a good first step to controlling your child's weight may be to keep the TV out of their room.

"The best recommendation is to not have a TV in your children's bedroom. There's really no reason they need to have their own TV," she said.

Read more about this study in the Journal JAMA Pediatrics.

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