A new American study has found that a significant majority of children aged between 2 to 5 do not get sufficient physical activity and are exposed to the TV for most of the day.
Stewart Trost, an internationally recognized expert on childhood obesity issues from Oregon State University, came up with his findings after studying nearly 300 home-based childcare providers.
The providers surveyed were looking after children up to age 5, and two-thirds said that the TV was powered on most of the day.
Almost 78 percent providers said they daily gave tots over an hour of time for active play, while 41percent said kids lay inactive for k=long hours during the day.
It was also found that nearly 63percent forbade play or exercise for children as punishment.
Trost said: "Would you withhold fruits and vegetables for kids who misbehave and negatively affect their health?"
"All the research shows that restricting physical activity makes children more, not less, likely to misbehave. So it's not even an effective means of punishment."
However, providers did "pretty well" in encouraging healthy eating habits. Very few said they allowed children to have fried foods or high-fat foods, with only a few serving sweets or chips as snacks.
The findings have appeared in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.