TV, no physical activity adding to kids` weight woes

Washington: Too much screen time and no physical activity could have more to do with a child's weight issues, a new study has revealed.

Researchers at Queensland, who studied the habits of 144 kids, looked at the children's level of physical activity, body mass index, and how much time they spent staring at screens, from computers to TVs and video games.

They found that physical activity was not the deciding factor in whether a child was overweight or not.

Dr Rachael Sharman, from the University of the Sunshine Coast, said that most of the children were reasonably active and overall did similar levels of physical activity, which had no direct correlation with their weight.

However, those who were overweight spent significantly more time sitting watching television or playing computer games than those in the normal weight range.

According to the researcher, the study, which looked at kids aged five to 13, showed that it was important for parents to limit screen time to ensure the benefits of physical activity aren't negated by too much time spent sitting.

The study will be presented at the Australian Psychological Society Conference in Cairns.