The South Asian Times

22 March 2019 04:33 AM

Mealtime TV viewing during pregnancy may turn kids obese


Washington, May 7 If you do not want your kids to grow up obese, stay away from viewing television during mealtime even before they are born, a study suggested.

Pregnant women who remain glued to the television sets while eating are more inclined to sit in front of the television while feeding their infants, the study noted.

"Identifying specific maternal behaviours and characteristics associated with child TV viewing during meals will help early childhood obesity prevention efforts seeking to promote responsive feeding and limit TV exposure during infancy," said Mary Jo Messito, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

TV viewing during meals is discouraged as it is associated with poorer quality diet, and mothers pay less attention to whether their children are full.

"Reinforcing healthy media habits during pregnancy may help reduce infants' mealtime media exposure and impact long-term media habits in children," Messito added.

Women were enrolled in the study during pregnancy, and mother-infant pairs were followed until the child turned three.

Women who watched television during meals while pregnant were five times more likely to expose their infants to television during feeding than women who did not watch television while eating during pregnancy, the findings showed.

Update: 07 May, 2014