Everyone knows that watching too much TV is bad for us and especially bad for children.
Many parents worry about the effects of things like violence shown on TV and the resulting impressions left on young minds.
Now a new report published in the highly respected International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity claims that television can have another ill effect on young minds.
Researchers have found after studying the habits of 2000 schoolchildren, that there is a relationship between the amount of TV watched and their future diet habits.
The study conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota claims that children who watch in excess of five hours of TV each day had poorer diets. They tended to eat less vegetables, calcium rich foods and fruit.
These heavy TV watchers also tended towards eating more “bad” food such as pre-packaged snacks, drinks with large amounts of sugar, as well as lots of fried and fast food meals as they grew older.
The study believes that at least some of the blame for this poor diet and in particular a tendency towards prepackaged and fast foods are related to the amount of advertising that the children are exposed to in long hours of TV viewing.