Think twice before doing this with your toddler

Think twice before doing this with your toddler

Is your toddler parked in front of the TV a lot?

It might lead to poor eating habits and poor performance in school, according to research from the School of Psychoeducation at the University of Montreal.

For the study, researchers closely followed the lives of almost 2,000 boys and girls born in Quebec between 1997 and 1998. At two years of age, the researchers collected information from the families about how much television their toddlers were watching each day. And at 13 years of age, the researchers recorded information about the then-teenagers’ dietary habits and academic performance.

The researchers found that toddlers who regularly watched TV for prolonged periods of time grew up to adopt poor eating habits, including eating more processed food and skipping breakfast, to allow for more screen time. This ultimately led to increased body mass and poor school performance.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children aged 2 to 5 restrict their screen time to no more than one hour a day.

“What parents should take away from this research is that toddlers who watch too much television may adopt a sedentary lifestyle that will hurt their overall health and well-being later in life,” says Dr. JoAnn Ruiz, a pediatrician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “A sedentary lifestyle can lead to problems associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular illnesses.”

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About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is the manager of public affairs and marketing at Illinois Masonic in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.