Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How TVs in Kids' Rooms Raise Obesity Risk

Mea culpa - thanks to the Canadian contingent at this year's Obesity Society conference, I've probably had too many drinks (Thanks to Arya, Dawn, Tara and Danielle) and someone told me once that I shouldn't drink and blog. Of course if you have a daily blog, sometimes you might not have as much choice as you'd want.

Life of course includes occasional indulgences and given that I've got two beautiful little girls and a busy office, my once a month or so nights out are certainly welcome.

The conference was wonderful as always and certainly got me thinking.

I heard a talk the other day regarding childhood obesity and it recounted how dramatically the risk of childhood obesity rises when a child has a television set in their room.

It's such a dramatic increase in risk (I believe in the neighbourhood of a 61% increase in relative risk) that I was never able to understand the mechanism behind it as the studies will generally control for dietary intake and some lifestyle factors suggesting an almost magical response to advertising.

I'm not sure anyone knows the answer but this conference made me wonder, could it simply be that kids with TVs in their bedrooms sleep far less because they're busy watching TV all night long?

Stay tuned this week for some debriefing from the conference, including my review of the Heart Attack Grill.