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Too Much Television Linked To Asthma In Children

Posted Mar 05 2009 5:32am

Yesterday it was a case PlayStation palm we had to worry about, today we are hearing more bad news about modern technology - this time it’s watching too much TV.

Ok, we already knew too much television is bad for us - so what’s new? Well, British researches have discovered children who spend more than two hours a day in front of the box are twice as likely to be diagnosed with asthma. Oh dear.

All over the world more than 300 million people suffer from respiratory disorder and it is the most common of child chronic illnesses. Familiar signs of the illness include wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and
chest tightness.

The journal Thorax contained a new study where links were made between the potentially fatal condition - one in 250 die every year - with being overweight and not geting enough exercise.

“There has been a recent suggestion that breathing patterns associated with sedentary behavior could lead to developmental changes in the lungs and wheezing illnesses in children,” Andrea Sherriff of the University of Glasgow and colleagues wrote.

The research team looked at the breathing patterns of more than 3,000 children from the age of birth to just under 12 years old.

Parents submitted information annually on their child’s wheezing symptoms and if a doctor had given a diagnosis of asthma when they were growing up. The team also compared results based on how much television the kids watched.

Researchers commented that video games and personal computer habits were not studies due to the fact less children had access to them when growing up in the mid 1990s.

The results showed that 6 per cent of children did not show any symptoms of asthma when they were groiwing up until the age of about 12.

Additionally they found that children who watched two hours or more of television a day were at risk twice as much of developing the condition than those who did not watch as much.

“The findings add to a wealth of evidence linking a lack of exercise and being overweight with an increased risk of asthma,” Elaine Vickers of Asthma UK, who was not involved in the study, said in a statement.

“But this study is the first to directly link sedentary behavior at a very young age to a higher risk of asthma later in childhood.”

Worrying figures released from the World Health Organisation reveal that in some countries as much as 30 per cent of children are diagnosed with the chronic illness.

So now you know parents, switch off the TV and send them outside to play!

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