Sydney: Talking about foundation of lifestyle behaviours being established as early as pre-school, a study found that nearly half of obese children ate dinner in front of the TV more than three times a week.
The study, led by Louise Hardy, from the University of Sydney School of Public Health, also showed not many parents realise their children have a weight problem.
The study of more than 1,200 children aged up to five years found almost a third of obese children had a TV in their bedrooms, the journal Preventive Medicine reported.
More than 60 percent of both healthy and overweight children were rewarded for good behaviour with sweets, while more than one-fifth of overweight and obese children did not eat breakfast, according to a Sydney statement.
Seventy percent of parents of overweight kindergarten children thought their child was the 'right weight' and 30 percent of the parents of obese children thought their child was the right weight.
The researchers concluded that the foundation for many lifestyle behaviours is already established by the time children enter school.