In a telephone survey conducted on 6,500 middle-school-aged kids, researchers found that, despite the television being off most of the time, children with a television in their bedroom gained almost one extra pound each year compared to children without one. “Removing a TV from a child’s bedroom is a single concrete action that a parent can take to help reduce their child’s risk of excessive weight gain”, say Gilbert-Diamond, lead author of the survey.  Although the researchers do not know the exact reason for the weight gain, they speculate that it may be due to a greater exposure to food advertisements and a disruption of sleep quality.

However, in a different study, researchers found that children assigned to active gaming plus family-based weight management group increased their moderate-to-vigorous activity by an average of 7.4 minutes per day and vigorous physical activity by nearly three minutes per day. In four months, active gamers lost more than twice their body weight of 10.9% compared to children in the weight management group of 5.5%. Dr. William Muinos, who runs an obesity clinic, says that active video games can help obese kids get past the stigma that they receive when playing a team sport. What recommendations do you find especially helpful to children who are trying to maintain a healthy weight?

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