Consistently watching high levels of television during childhood and adolescence were linked with lower peak bone mass at age 20 years in a recent study.
In the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study, hours of television watching per week were recorded by parental or self-report at 5, 8, 10, 14, 17 and 20 years of age in 1181 participants.
Those who consistently watched ≥14 hours/week of television had lower bone mineral content than those who watched less television, even after adjusting for height, body mass, physical activity, calcium intake, vitamin D levels, alcohol, and smoking (all at age 20).
"Since attainment of optimal peak bone mass is protective against osteoporosis later in life, reducing sedentary time in children may have long-term skeletal benefits," the authors wrote.
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McVeigh, J. A., Zhu, K., Mountain, J., Pennell, C. E., Lye, S. J., Walsh, J. P., & Straker, L. M. (2016). Longitudinal Trajectories of Television Watching Across Childhood and Adolescence Predict Bone Mass at Age 20 Years in the Raine Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.