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Kids Are Twice as Likely to Eat Healthy After Doing This

Research has shown many adverse health effects for children who spend an excessive amount of time in front of the television. One study found that kids with TVs in their bedrooms, and those exposed to more background TV, had a lower comprehension of different mental states, including other people’s beliefs and desires. Too much TV time has also been linked to childhood obesity.

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While too much TV time can certainly be a problem, a recent study suggests that what’s on the TV may count for something.

Researchers at Tilburg University in the Netherlands asked 125 children between 10 and 12 years old to watch 10 minutes of a cooking program, designed specifically for children. To thank them for participating, the researchers then offered each child a snack. The children were able to choose from different snack options — some healthy, and others not so much.

The study showed that the children who watched the show on healthy cooking were much more likely to choose one of the healthier snack options, such as apples or cucumbers, instead of chips or pretzels.

Study author Frans Folkvord from Tillburg University explained, “The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children’s food-related preferences, attitudes, and behaviors.”

The researchers added that previous studies have shown that children were more likely to eat healthy foods if they played a role in preparing the meal. “Providing nutritional education in school environments instead may have an important positive influence on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors of children,” Folkvord said.

While it’s clear that excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child’s health, there may be some benefits to limited screen time, depending on what the child is watching.

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