Kiwi kids turning into telly tubbies 12 November 2013
Kiwi kids are blobbing out and packing on the pounds under the harsh glare of the TV screen.

More than a third of New Zealand’s youth are spending about five hours a day watching television – which new research has linked to our growing rate of childhood obesity.

An international study of 284,000 children and teenagers, including 5800 Kiwis, conducted by the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand found youths who watch more TV are more likely to be overweight or obese.

The link was particularly strong among teenage girls watching for five hours or more a day.

The study found children nationwide are zoning out in front of the box for large chunks of the day, with 32 per cent of those in the study watching between three and five hours – and 11 per cent viewing for more than five.

This is on top of other screen-based activities, such as playing video games and social networking. A further 38 per cent watched one to three hours, and the rest reported watching less than one.