Native News Network Staff in Native Health. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Television watching and a teen's weight go together. Researchers at the University of Minnesota saw indications of that in a yearlong study of 153 adults and 72 teens. The researchers used devices that limited the number of hours a television was on. Families kept track of how much television people watched.
Take the Cherokee Students' Example
Researcher Simone French says this indicates television could be a way for parents to help to control kids' weight:
“Especially with young kids, that's where things are happening, and parents are really the managers of the home environment and set the stage for these behaviors.”
Physical activity is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. In combination with healthy eating, it can help prevent a range of chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and stroke, which are the three leading causes of death. Physical activity helps control weight, builds lean muscle, reduces fat, promotes strong bone, muscle and joint development, and decreases the risk of obesity. Children need 60 minutes of play with moderate to vigorous activity every day to grow up to a healthy weight.
If this sounds like a lot, consider that eight to 18 year old adolescents spend an average of 7.5 hours a day using entertainment media including television, computers, video games, cell phones and movies in a typical day, and only one third of high school students get the recommended levels of physical activity. To increase physical activity, today's children need safe routes to walk and bike ride to school, parks, playgrounds and community centers where they can play after school, and activities like sports, dance or fitness programs that are exciting and challenging enough to keep them engaged.
posted September 28, 2012 6:20 am edt