New research out of Australia shows children who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing computer games have medical symptoms of a higher risk for future heart attacks and strokes.
Special Section: Dr. Jennifer Ashton
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CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained the University of Sydney study looked at TV screen time and changes or narrowing in the blood vessels in the eye. She said the information about the blood vessels is used as a substitute for what may be going on later in the heart.
Ashton said researchers looked at 1,492 kids ages 6 to 7 and surveyed their parents about their TV screen time habits and their exercise habits. Researchers then took pictures of the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye.
"These are retinal vessels, and (they) measured them," Ashton said. "(They) found that those children who spent more time in front of the TV screens had a greater narrowing of the diameter of those blood vessels, which is a problem, because narrower blood vessels mean less blood flow to the target organs."