Friday, July 31, 2009

Kids and TV

We all know that children should not be allowed to watch too much television. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television for children under the age of 2, and recommends that older children be limited to 1-2 hours of "screen time" per day (that includes computer games, video watching and internet usage). But, it is also important to limit eating while watching tv. There have been many studies done showing that eating while watching tv leads to overeating! When people eat "mindlessly" while gazing at the tv, instead of being "mindful" while they are eating, they often don't realize how much they are eating. This can lead to eating much more food than they had planned to eat-suddenly the whole chip bag is empty! Also, most food eaten while watching tv tends to be nutrient-poor food such as that bag of chips, or cookies.

A recent study: shows that watching food advertisments while eating in front of the tve can spur children to eat even more.

Bottom line: Don't allow children or yourself to eat while watching tv. Teach children about "mindful" eating. For example, take time to savor and enjoy your food. While eating with your children, talk about the juiciness of the oranges, the nice cold milk, or whatever else you are enjoying about your meal.

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