Televisions in the Bedroom Often Correlate to Obese Children

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A new study finds that children with televisions in their bedrooms are more than twice as likely to be overweight. The Omidi brothers, and their charity The Children’s Obesity Fund, are concerned about the societal impacts of America’s growing obesity problem and is dedicated to sharing information such as this which can help our kids grow up healthy and happy.

Short sleep duration and lack of regular family meals have been related to weight gain and obesity.

- American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Kids with televisions in their bedrooms are two and a half times as likely to develop fat deposits around their waists, heart and livers; elevated triglycerides and fat in their bloodstreams. These are the conditions that can lead to heart disease, diabetes and stroke in later life. This finding is from a recent study published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine and reported by Today.com.

“We have begun to view television and other forms of electronic media as being indispensable, but there is really no material benefit to having a television in the bedroom of a young child,” says Julian Omidi, co-founder of the charitable organization The Children’s Obesity Fund. “Our fast-food culture of instant gratification has led us not only to destructive eating habits, but corrosive behaviors that are extremely difficult to unlearn. If we are to conquer this obesity epidemic, we must stop allowing, and even facilitating, these activities that only contribute to the problem.”

The published study didn’t hypothesize as to the exact reasons for the link between television in the bedroom and childhood obesity, but different studies suggest that a contributing factor might be the difficulty children experience in achieving sufficient, restorative sleep after watching television or playing video games at night. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Ergonomics, the artificial light illuminated by electronic devices inhibits the production of sleep hormones, causing the brain to remain stimulated when it should be winding down in preparation for sleep. Diminished sleep has been found to be a causal factor in weight gain in children, according to research conducted at the Universite de Montreal in 2008.

“If children are to watch television, ideally it should be in service of ‘family time,’ not as a simple means of distraction,” says Dr. Michael Omidi of The Children’s Obesity Fund. “Keeping television out of kids’ bedrooms is a small price to pay if it means that they will grow up less likely to struggle with the heartbreak of obesity.”

Co-founded by Julian Omidi and Michael Omidi, M.D., the Children’s Obesity Fund (http://www.childrensobesityfund.org) hopes to help reverse the trend of rising obesity rates in America. The goal of the non-profit charity is to help people fully understand the obesity issue and its dire impacts on individuals and society as a whole -- and to use that knowledge to encourage children to grow up strong and healthy. Children’s Obesity Fund partners with other organizations to educate and support parents, educators and others so that we can all work together to raise healthy, active, social, and happy children. While the organization does not accept donations, it does encourage direct contributions of money and talents to the associations featured on our website. Children’s Obesity Fund is on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Childrens-Obesity-Fund/264244577009536?fref=ts and can also be found on Google+, Twitter and Pinterest.

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