Posted by Melissa Burlaga
7 year old Astley has had weight problems since he was three .
His mom says a year ago it got so bad Astley had trouble running.
"When I consulted his pediatrician, first thing she asked was how much television does he watch? And he watched a lot of TV.
Anywhere between 4 to 8 hours a day."
According to a new study in the journal of pediatrics, one of the most effective ways parents can lower the odds of having an overweight or obese child is by simply turning off the TV.
"They said you could stop watching TV and stuff like that."
So, instead of wasting hours in front of a screen Astley is now filling his afternoons playing badminton and soccer and swinging and roller blading.
"Once we found activities outside that he was interested in—he even asked, 'Can I go outside?' And spent less time wanting to watch TV.
Astley lost about 20 pounds in about a year. He feels better, he looks better, he acts better, and he plays better."
Experts say turning off the TV frees up time for the whole family to get active together.
"Go out after dinner, take a walk as a family, walk the dog as a family, get up in the morning and on weekends and walk together with your children, just promoting activity in general."
Nearly one in three kids in America is overweight or obese.