Parents can have a significant impact in steering young children away from too much time spent in sedentary pursuits. This new study, in the American Journal of Health Promotion, found this effect in Hispanic families, whose children are more likely to be sedentary than non-Hispanic white children and who are also especially vulnerable to becoming overweight or obese.
"We found that family support is very important for reducing children’s sedentary behaviors," said author Zhen Cong, Ph.D., an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Texas Tech University. The sedentary behaviors were mainly TV-watching, computer use and video-game playing, referred to as "screen time."
The researchers followed 418 parent-child pairings for two years. The parents and children, who were from 5 to 9 years old, participated in a program called Transformacion Para Salud (Change for Health), which involved nutrition education, encouragement of exercise and family participation.
Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng, http://www.sxc.hu/