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Study: Kids' TV watching can increase their cardiovascular disease risk

Posted On Thu, April 21, 2011

There's another reason why kids ought to limit their time in front of the television: It can increase their risk for cardiovascular disease.

According to a new study published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, sedentary activities like watching television tends to narrow arteries in the back of the eyes, which is one of several factors looked at when assessing someone's risk for heart disease. Conversely, physical activity slightly widened those arteries.

"We found that children with a high level of physical activity had a more beneficial microvascular profile compared to those with the lowest levels of physical activity," said Bamini Gopinath, lead author and senior research fellow at the Center for Vision Research at the University of Sydney in Australia. Gopinath went on to say that this study provides further evidence that one's lifestyle habits in early life have lasting implications.

The rising cost of health insurance is largely attributable to prevalent ailments like cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, $475 billion in healthcare costs goes toward its treatment in the U.S. alone.

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