Turn off TV during meals or kids may get fat: study

Tue Jul 8, 2008 3:47pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Everyone knows what too much television can do to the mind and what too little exercise can do to the body, but a Canadian study has now shown that the boob tube can also lead to an increase in how much we eat.

Studying childhood obesity, University of Toronto nutritionist Harvey Anderson found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 extra calories than those who ate without the television on.

"One of Anderson's conclusions is that eating while watching television overrides our ability to know when to stop eating," the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which funded the study, said on Tuesday.

"In effect, mindless television watching produces mindless eating. ... Anderson has some immediate advice for parents -- turn the television off during mealtime."

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Frank McGurty)