Understand the connection between obesity and “screen time” for young children, and find strategies for supporting your child’s healthy development.
Some research studies (with low-income, multiethnic preschoolers ages 1–5) have found that the more television shows or videos the children watch, the more likely they are to be obese. Here are strategies you can use to support your child’s healthy development.
What You Can Do:
Limit TV and other “screen time.” The more children are watching, the less they areplaying. Choose programs that donot have commercials (or play videos or DVDs instead).Young children are vulnerable to the messages they see in commercials for “junk” food thatoften play during children’s programming. If you show television programs, consider muting the television during commercials.Ensure children have adequate physical play opportunities. Go to the park whenever possible, kick a ball around, dance inside to music, or hop down the sidewalk. These activities all help young children build muscle and develop coordination, balance, and teamwork skills. Provide healthy snacks and meals. Do not allow children to eat while watching television.Research shows that children eat more when they are served food while watching TV.