A survey of more than 8,000 children, ranging from kindergarteners to third graders, found that television, family meals and neighborhood safety all play a role in the presence or absence of childhood obesity.
The survey examined eating and activity factors, and placed the children in three different groups:
- Those who were not overweight during kindergarten, but were overweight by third grade
- Those who became overweight during kindergarten, and remained so
- Those who were never overweight
Children who watched more television and ate fewer family meals were more likely to be overweight by first grade. If they also lived in neighborhoods considered unsafe for outdoor play, they were more likely to be overweight starting in kindergarten.