(SYDNEY, Australia) -- You might expect all that time kids spend in front of TVs, computers and video games might cause eye strain. But new research, published in the journal Arterialsclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, finds a more disturbing sign.
A study of six-year-olds in Australia reports those who spent more time in front of a screen, rather than being physically active, had narrower arteries at the backs of their eyes. That can be a sign of future heart disease.
The authors at the University of Sydney note this "screen time," especially TV viewing, is also associated with higher intake of low-nutrition foods and drinks, and with lower consumption of vegetables.
Researchers can't tell how many of the youngsters will actually develop heart disease. But they say the data suggests that physical activity could have a beneficial effect.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio