Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t, according to new research.
Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the study by scientists from University College London analysed data from more than 12,000 children in the UK.
They found that girls in particular were more likely to put on weight the longer they spent watching TV.
The scientists found more than 50% of the children had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven. Interestingly, girls who had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven were 30% more likely to be overweight by the time they were 11, compared to kids who did not have TVs in their bedrooms.
For boys, the risk was slightly less at 20%.
While the link between TVs and being overweight isn’t fully known, the researchers believe it is due to the children getting less sleep and snacking while they are in front of their TVs.
Researcher Dr Anja Heilmann said: "Our study shows there is clear link between having a TV in the bedroom as a young child and being overweight a few years later."
The scientists behind the research are now calling for more studies to see if similar patterns exist with laptops and mobile phones.