Has research shown a connection between media and overweight?

Most studies on the topic show that children who spend more time with media are more likely to be overweight than children who spend less time with media.

Overall, most research that follows children over time tends to show that there is a connection between media and overweight, but what causes the overweight is still unclear.

Researchers have looked at three different ideas about how media leads kids to become overweight. Click the links below to find out more about what studies have shown in each area of research.

  1. Sedentary media use
    When kids use media they are not usually physically active. Instead of exercising or playing outside during their free time, they are sitting at a computer, watching TV, or playing video games.

  2. Food Advertisements
    Advertisers of snacks and sugary cereals often target their commercials to children by showing them during times when they know kids will be watching.

  3. Poor Nutrition
    When children and teens are distracted by media, they may not pay attention to how much food they are eating or how healthy it is.

You can also see suggestions about using media in healthy ways to lessen the risk of overweight.


CMCH is supported in part by the American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, Comcast, Google, The Stuart Family Foundation, The Norlien Foundation, Cisco, and other generous donors.

Related Links:

Tips about Media and Overweight

Other Tips for Media Use

Parents' Homepage

CMCH Newsletter

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