This is one study finding bound to be paid attention to, by whooping teens. Researchers have come out with the revelation that long hours of watching TV or playing video games are not related to teenagers piling on the pounds.
According to lead researcher Stuart Biddle, professor of exercise and sport psychology at Loughborough University UK, a study of more than 1,500 12- to 16-year-olds showed that teenagers who spend more time than average, in front of the television are just as active as those who do not.
AdvertisementInstead Biddle puts the blame on the mode of transport being offered to teenagers today. He says that says the real problem may be that children are being driven to school instead of riding their bikes and walking.
The research by Loughborough's School of Sport and Exercise Science, which did not look at diet, found that one of the biggest causes of young people's sedentary lifestyles was the growth in the amount of time spent in the car - now an average 40 minutes a day. This had been accompanied by a dramatic decline in walking or cycling to school.
Says Professor Biddle:"If kids are not walking to school it may not seem a lot but it adds up to a great deal." Analysis of dairies kept by the children revealed the key period for weekday activity was the three hours immediately after school and that a large proportion of the children were being driven to school.
Biddle observed that the teenagers who were not active during the three hours up to around 6:30 p.m. were probably not going to be very active overall.
"If you look at the decline in walking and cycling among children it is far more dramatic than any changes in TV watching trends", Biddle concluded.
Childhood obesity rates have soared, prompting fears of a generation blighted by diabetes and heart disease. The number of obese children aged two to 10 rose from 9.9 per cent in 1995 to 13.4 percent in 2004.
The Government recommends each child should do an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise each day. A 15-minute walk to and from school would account for half of the recommended activity.