The more TV a toddler watches the higher the chances of poor performance at school and higher junk food consumption by the age of 10, warn researchers.
The study in question was conducted by Michigan and Montreal universities and it aimed to find the negative effects that TV could have on youngsters.
The study of 1,300 children asked parents how much TV their children watched at 29 months and 53 months. On average the former watched around nine hours per week and the latter watched just under 15 hours per week.
When the children reached the age of 10 their teachers were asked to assess their academic performance, behaviour and health and their body mass index was also measured at this time.
The researchers found that those children who watched a larger amount of TV aged two had a lower level of engagement in the classroom and achieved poor results in maths. They also found a decrease in physical activity and an increase in soft drinks and body mass index.
Dr Linda Pagani, of the University of Montreal was head researchers of the study and she believes the reason could be linked to early childhood being a critical period for brain development and behaviour formation.
"Common sense would suggest that television exposure replaces time that could be spent engaging in other developmentally enriching activities and tasks that foster cognitive, behavioural and motor development."
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