International News Desk – At Home: Couch Potato – Around the World: Bad Weather Blues

International News Desk – At Home: Couch Potato – Around the World: Bad Weather Blues

At Home: Couch Potato

We all know that kids today tend to watch too much TV?and that this habit promotes a sedentary lifestyle. But did you know that it can also affect their longer-term physical development?

As the CBC reports, a recent study from the University of Montreal shows that ?[children] who watch more TV between the ages of two and four may increase their risk of having a large waist size and weaker muscular fitness by the end of grade 4.?

Although the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends fewer than two hours of television per day for kids over the age of two, the study found that the average kindergarten-aged child watched nearly 15 hours of TV per week.

And the effects on health are significant: according to the study, ?a child who watches 18 hours of television at 4.5 years of age will by the age of 10 have an extra 7.6 millimetres? in waist size. Additionally, kids who watched more TV exhibited a decreased ability in the standing long jump?a test That’s seen as ?an indicator of health and points to someone’s athletic ability for activities like skating and sprinting or sports such as basketball and soccer that require explosive leg strength.?

Around the World: Bad Weather Blues

As we become more and more out of touch with the clues nature gives us, we increasingly rely on online or televised weather forecasts?and we’re not happy if the predictions are inaccurate. But in one Dutch tourist town, councillors are taking this to a new level.

As the CBC reports, councillors in Hoek van Holland, The Netherlands, ?want to slap weather forecasters with fines if their predictions turn out to be incorrect.?

Forecasts of bad weather cause tourists to cancel reservations; but if the weekend turns out to be sunny after all, tourism vendors have lost that good-weather business.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute is taking the heat for the inaccurate forecasts, and hotel owners and others in the tourism industry insist that their errors are causing ?considerable damage? to the industry, a spokesperson for a tourist association told reporters.

Sounds like a case of (sorry) fair-weather friends.