Magazine article USA TODAY

Fussy Babies Get Fat in Front of TV

Magazine article USA TODAY

Fussy Babies Get Fat in Front of TV

Article excerpt

Mothers, especially those who are obese, are more likely to use television to entertain and soothe infants who are more fussy and active, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The finding adds to the growing body of knowledge that may help explain the escalating rate of obesity and inactivity in U.S. children, and has led to behavioral and educational strategies that may help mothers combat these effects.

"In the past, studies have focused on maternal factors for obesity and TV watching, but this is the first time anyone has looked at infant factors and the interaction between maternal and infant characteristics in shaping TV behavior across infancy," relates Amanda L. Thompson, a biological anthropologist in the College of Arts and Sciences and first author of the study. "That's important because mom and infant behaviors are inextricably linked."

The researchers found that mothers who were obese, who watched a lot of TV, and whose child was fussy were most likely to put their infants in front of the TV. …

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