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Highlights from the April 2006 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Eating while Watching TV: What Is the Effect on Pre-school Children?
Watching television while eating affects pre-school children's food intake in different ways, depending on how commonly the child eats in front of the TV, according to University of Pennsylvania researchers. They looked at "the effects of television viewing on children's lunch and snack intake in one condition when the children watched a 22-minute cartoon video on TV, and in another without the TV."

The 24 children, all 3 to 5 years old, were observed with their parents' consent at a day-care center, and parents supplied information for their kids' eating habits at home. Overall, the researchers found, the children ate significantly less while watching television, except for pre-schoolers whose parents say are accustomed to eating in front of the TV at home. Those children were likely to eat more than pre-schoolers with less "prior experience with eating during TV viewing."

"This finding suggests the possibility that children who are given opportunities to eat while watching TV may become less sensitive to internal cues to satiety," the researchers write. "To promote self-regulation of energy intake in young children, parents and caregivers should be advised against providing opportunities for children to eat during TV viewing."

Adolescent Dieting May Predict Obesity and Eating Disorders
Dieting and "unhealthful weight-control behaviors" among adolescents can predict the development of eating disorders in years to come, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.

In a follow-up to a 1999 study of more than 2,500 junior high and high school students, the researchers found that students who engaged in unhealthy weight-control behaviors such as dieting and binge eating were three times more likely five years later to be overweight than adolescents who did not engage in those behaviors. They were also at significantly increased ri
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Contact: Julia Dombrowski
media@eatright.org
312-899-4769
American Dietetic Association
4-Apr-2006


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