much TV may do more than interfere with a child’s grades, it
also might affect his or her athletic development – a potential problem for those parents who dream of
raising the next Michael Phelps or Serena Williams.
A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral
Nutrition and Physical Activity is believed to be the first to
document the relationship between how much TV screen time a
child logs and later explosive leg strength — a key indicator of
The other key finding, while significant, is perhaps less
surprising: Kids who watch more TV early in life were likely to
have wider waist measurements down the road, an indication that
the lack of activity was putting young children on a path toward
“Watching more television in early childhood forecasted
lesser performance on a test of explosive muscular strength in
later childhood …. This suggests that for some children,
excessive television exposure was associated with the experience
of a substantial level of impairment,” the study found.
Lead researcher, a post-doctoral
researcher at New York University, joined researchers at the
University of Montreal in studying 1,314 children in Quebec.
Parents participating in the study were asked how much time
their children spent watching television at ages 29 months and
The study is the latest to suggest that parents who want to
raise healthy kids need to slash their screen time.