A new study by scientists in Australia has revealed that children who watch too much television are at a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure later in life, and recommended more free play at school to combat this problem.
The research, published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, which involved monitoring 1,500 six- and seven-year-olds in Sydney, showed that those who spent the most time in front of the TV had narrower arteries in the back of their eyes, which raised the risk of developing these conditions when they were older.
The children that were examined spent on average 1.9 hours per day watching television and just 36 minutes each day involved in organised physical activity . It was found that the children that spent the most time watching TV had less wide retinal arteries on average than those who took part in more physical activity.
Bamini Gopinath, the lead author on the study, commented “We found children with a high level of physical activity had a more beneficial microvascular profile compared to those with the lowest levels of physical activity.”
He added “This suggests unhealthy lifestyle factors may influence microcirculation early in life and increase the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure later in life.”

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