There's an unsurprising but stark link between kids' TV watching and the distance around their middles, a new study suggests. Researchers find that, among 2- to 4-year-olds, every additional hour of television per week translates into almost an extra .02 inches of waistline. Kids who watched 8.82 hours per week added to their waists by .16 inches, the Independent reports. And the finding wasn't limited to the early years.
By age 10, kids who watched more than 18 hours of TV every week were nearly .4 inches wider. Tube time also appears to take a toll on kids' athletic ability: Every weekly hour of TV for a 2-year-old shortened their long-jump distances between ages 8 and 10 by approximately .13 inches. Long jumping is considered a good measure of overall physical fitness. "The bottom line is that watching too much television—beyond recommended amounts—is not good," says the head researcher.