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TV Worsens Children's Diabetes

a measure of blood-sugar control over the last few months. The
American Diabetes Association recommends that HbA1c levels be less than 7%.

The researchers found that as TV viewing time crept upward, so did the
children's HbA1c levels:


  • Average HbA1c was 8.2% for the 11% of children who watched TV for less than
    an hour a day.

  • Average HbA1c was 8.4% for the 35% of children who watched TV for one to
    two hours a day.

  • Average HbA1c was 8.7% for the 31% of children who watched TV for two to
    three hours a day.

  • Average HbA1c was 8.8% for the 14% of children who watched TV for three to
    four hours a day.

  • Average HbA1c was 9.5% for the 9% of children who watched TV for four or
    more hours a day.


Computer time was not linked to children's blood-sugar control.

"It takes very little energy to sit in front of the tube,"
Margeirsdottir says in a news release. "The time spent watching TV could
otherwise be spent on activities that require a lot more exertion and burn more
calories. What's more, TV viewing tends to be associated with snacking and may
lead to poor eating habits."

The study appears in the June issue of Diabetes Care.

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By Daniel DeNoon
Reviewed by Louise Chang
B)2005-2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved