Study: Hours in front of TV linked to High Blood Pressure in Obese Children

TV-watching is now being linked to just more than an increase in obesity numbers across the country.

A new study suggests children who are already obese are more likely to have hypertension if they spend more than two hours in front of the television set.

The study is out of the University of California San Diego and is published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

Obese children who watched two to four hours of TV each day were 2.5 times more likely to have high blood pressure.

Those who watched more than four hours a day were 3 times more likely to develop hypertension.

"Sitting in front of the television is taking the place of doing something else and chances of the child choosing something where they're actually spending calories doing something active goes down the more TV they watch," said John Young, M.D. of the Panhandle Pediatrics clinic.

With one in four children in Texas obese, according to experts, that makes this study that much more compelling.

"There have been a few researchers especially those at Baylor Hospital in Houston who have argued a number of the kids are literally not going to outlive their parents," said Young.

Some tips to make a step towards a more healthy lifestyle for families as a whole are provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics:
   1.  Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
   2.  Encouraging consumption of diets with recommended quantities of fruits and vegetables; the current recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture are for 9 servings per day, with serving sizes varrying with age. 
   3.  Limit television and other screen time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television viewing before 2 years of age and thereafter no more than 2 hours of television viewing per day.
   4.  Eating breakfast daily.
   5.  Promoting moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes each day.

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