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Blindingly Obvious Research Says Kids Quaff More Fizzy Drinks While Watching Telly

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Fresh from the School of Stating The Bleedin' Obvious comes research that chidren who spend a lot of time watching television consume more fizzy drinks.

And the shock-horror reason for this could be to do with the fact that they watch a lot of adverts. Or on the other hand, because they get thirsty while watching telly.

People actually get paid for this stuff, seriously.

What isn't revealed – surprise, surprise – is what kids who don't have automatic access to pop drink. A nice cup of tea, perhaps? Or a pint of Adam's Ale?

Anyway, according to boffins at the University of Gothenburg for every hour children stare at the screen, the chance they will consume sweetened drinks in large amounts increases by 50 per cent.

And parents who don't try to curb the number of TV adverts their children watch are twice as likely to have children that consume such beverages every week.

The parents of more than 1,700 two-to four-year-olds were asked to respond to questions about their children's TV and screen habits and consumption of sweetened drinks.

Blindingly obvious research says kids quaff more fizzy drinks while watching telly

About one parent in seven indicated that they tried to reduce their children's exposure to TV adverts. The same parents stated that their children were less prone to drink soft drinks and other sweetened beverages.

Researcher Stina Olafsdottir said: "The children who watched more TV were more likely to drink these beverages.

"In fact, each additional hour in front of the TV increased the likelihood of regular consumption by 50 per cent.

"A similar link was found for total screen time."

The study also found that children with higher exposure to food adverts on TV were more likely to consume sweetened beverages on a regular basis in a follow-up study conducted two years after the initial study.

But the authors say that exposure to TV adverts could not explain the link between TV habits and beverage consumption entirely, adding it is likely that the TV programmes watched also matter or that children simply enjoy drinking these types of beverages while watching TV.

"What is clear is that there is a very clear link between children's television habits and their consumption of sweetened drinks," the study says.

Coming next week: 'Children prefer chocolate to broccoli' shock report.

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