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One hour of television makes children 50 percent likelier to crave soda

Saturday, July 06, 2013 by: Michael Ravensthorpe
Tags: television, children, soda

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(NaturalNews) Television has a bad reputation among health-conscious people, and for good reason. This neutral broadcasting device, which could be used to enrich the culture of our planet, has long been used by self-serving corporations to promote unhealthy products and toxic values. Nowhere is this more evident than in the world of commercials, where just about every unnatural food imaginable has been marketed to families as desirable and wholesome produce.

Given the aggressiveness with which these products are pushed on our families, it's not surprising that more and more studies are starting to emerge that connect the dots between television exposure and undesirable eating and drinking patterns. The latest of these studies, published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Public Health, has proven an obvious but important correlation between viewing time and soda consumption in children.

A 'clear link'

For the study, the research team - led by Stina Olafsdottir from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden - evaluated the dietary and viewing habits of 1,733 Swedish children between the ages of two and four years. A great deal of information came directly from the children's parents, who were asked to complete detailed questionnaires about their children's lifestyles.

The data revealed that approximately one in seven parents actively tried to limit their children's exposure to television commercials, and that the children of these parents were least likely to crave soda and other sugary drinks. Children who were exposed to a great deal of television, however, frequently requested - and consumed - large quantities of soda.

"The children who watched more TV were more likely to drink these beverages," said Olafsdottir. "In fact, each additional hour in front of the TV increased the likelihood of regular consumption by 50 percent. A similar link was found for total screen time."

In a follow-up study, Olafsdottir's team also discovered a 'clear link' between children's exposure to food commercials on television, and their likelihood of consuming sweet beverages on a regular basis.

"The results strengthen the assumption that it is possible to influence children's dietary habits through their TV habits," concluded the study authors.

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About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.
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