Concerning study on kids & TV

November 6, 2009 3:52:20 PM PST
Ask any health expert about children and TV and they'll tell you this: American children watch entirely too much TV. We already know that is may be partly to blame for the obesity epidemic in children -- and there is more.

Even the youngest amongst us are spending a lot of time in front of the TV screen, according to one Nielsen survey released recently. It found that on average, kids between the ages of 2 and 5 watch more than 4 1/2 hours of TV per day.

A concerning study of 3,000 kids released this week found that children who watch more television are more likely to be more aggressive. Interviewing the moms at birth and again when they children were age 1 and age 3 uncovered the link between TV-watching and the risk for aggression. "It's as easy as monkey see, monkey do," said Dr. Ellen Rome of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. "If they watch it, in game form or in TV form, they play it out on the playground."

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages patients to make TV-watching quality time rather than quantity. It's particularly important for the very young not to develop the habit of being sedentary; for older children, that includes sitting at the computer. "Screen time is what we're looking at here. So whether the screen is on the TV, video, or computer games -- all of that together needs to be limited because children are being sedentary when that is happening," said Dr. Kimberly Giuliano of the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors stress that hHow their children watch TV is something every parent needs to think about.

"Never put a TV in their bedroom. Just don't do it, " said Dr. Rome. Less than two hours a day for anyone over two, and none at all for the under two-year-old crowd."

For more advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics go to: http://www.aap.org/publiced/br_TV.htm


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