Are your kids fond of watching television? If so, then there's a good chance they're also fond of eating fast food, sweets and other unhealthy snacks as well. According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, kids who spend a lot of time being watching TV are more likely to develop poor eating habits.

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To find out just how sound their theory was, researchers asked more than 12,000 students from grades 5 through 10 about their recreational habits as well as the types of food they consumed. Based on the results, the more often kids watched TV, the more likely it was that they were eating unhealthy foods. Leah Lipsky and Ronal Iannotti, staff scientists at the Eunice Kennedy Shrive National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, also add that, for every hour of television kids watch, they are 8 percent less likely to eat fruit, 18 percent more likely to consume candy, and 16 percent more likely to have junk food.

The study poses questions for parents who don't regulate their kids' TV time. Having unhealthy eating habits may eventually lead to weight problems and other diseases that stem from obesity. However, researchers say that keeping fruit within arm’s reach may help reroute your children’s nutrition toward a better path. While it’s not their conscious decision, it’s a start. Researchers also recommend that you minimize your kids’ TV time. Younger kids, in particular, should have only around two hours of TV time per day.

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(Photo by renata miyagusku via Flickr Creative Commons)

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