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TV and Eating Out Makes Kids Fat

Excessive television watching and fat-laden fast food menus are working together to make U.S. children fatter and fatter. Turning off the television slowed down obesity more than anything else, including exercise programs and diets. The Kaiser experts said the typical child sees about 40,000 ads a year on TV, most for candy, cereal, soda and fast food. This information is not new as I mentioned it nearly four years ago. TV ads are particularly problematic.

Key Findings:

  • The majority of research finds a link between the amount of time children spend watching TV and their body weight.
  • Interventions that reduce children's media time result in weight loss.
  • Most research indicates that time spent with media does not displace time spent in physical activities.
  • Many studies indicate that children's exposure to food advertising and marketing may be influencing their food choices.

Center for Science in the Public Interest February 24, 2004

The Kaiser Foundation February 24, 2004

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