PORTLAND -- Young children in home-based daycares in Oregon are spending too much time sitting in front of televisions, a recent study determined.

The study, conducted by Oregon State University researcher Stewart Trost, found that two-thirds of Oregon's home-based child care providers have a television on most of the day. Such heavy exposure to TV contributes to obesity, Trost said, and other research has suggested that it may also hinder cognitive development.

The study evaluated 300 family child care providers serving children up to age 5 and it was published in the December issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and on the Oregon State University Web site.

Trost, an expert on childhood obesity, said the daycare providers were not doing enough to encourage physical activity. His study found that while 78 percent of the providers reported giving children more than an hour of play daily, 41 percent also said children sat for extended periods of the day.

In addition, less than half of the daycare providers had received any training on how to provide children with age-appropriate physical activity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than two hours of television per day for children between the ages of 2 and 5, and discourages any television viewing for children younger than 2.

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