In an article published on Yahoo! News on Monday, “Junk Food, TV-Watching Linked Among Teens,” Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput (Junior Research Chair discusses the link between TV-watching and junk food consumption. From the article:

Parents should also encourage kids and teens to eat breakfast, he said. “Those who skip breakfast are more overweight or obese and less healthy in general,” said professor Jean-Philippe Chaput, of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the University of Ottawa.

The study showed an association between television and eating junk food, and while there could be a cause-and-effect relationship at work, it could also be that both watching television and eating unhealthy foods are generally more likely to occur in the same households. Such households, Biddle said, may also be more likely to take part in unhealthy habits such as smoking and would be less likely to participate in sports.

Future studies need to look at how to reduce screen-related activities in kids and teens. “I think that it will be a Herculean task, because kids and adults are addicted to the screen, and it is becoming omnipresent in our daily life,” Chaput said.

“TV-viewing has been shown to stimulate food intake regardless of appetite. It is worse than doing nothing, sleeping or napping for example, because it creates a positive caloric balance,” Chaput said.

“It is one thing to show that TV or computer use is bad for our health, but it doesn’t mean that people will be giving up their screens because of that,” he said.

Click here to read the full article.