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New Study on the Harm of Television for Children

Published on Monday September 20th, 2021

A study on the influence of television on children indicates that children with TVs in their rooms suffer from overweight and poor scholastic performance.

This study was published in the Developmental Psychology Magazine and conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa in the United States. This study contains three surveys that followed 5,000 children for two years. The results of the survey reveal that children who had a TV in their room were overweight and spent less time reading books. Children also tended to watch more television programs and play violent games on the computer, which increased their aggression.

Another survey also indicated that more than 50% of 7-year-old children in the United States have a TV in their room.

Prof. Douglas Gentil, head of the research team, called on parents to avoid putting a television in their children's room to prevent them from getting fatter: "A lot of kids can turn on the television themselves and they are presumably not watching educational programs'', he says. Installing a T.V in their bedroom gives them 24-hour access to content on television, and less opportunity for their parents to monitor them."

Last month, another study from the University College of London was published, which examined 12,500 children, and proves that abstaining from placing a TV in the children's room allowed parents to restrict the time their children spent in front of the T.V, and to choose the programs that their children watched. The researchers claimed that being exposed to long hours on television causes sleep disturbances as well as weight gain.

The American Pediatricians Association asks parents of school children and teens to ensure a balance between media use and a healthy lifestyle. The association recommends that parents completely avoid exposing their children under 18 months to television; for children from 2 to 5 years, reduce the hours of television to one hour a day. The association recommends watching the programs with the child, to help him understand what is projected on the screen. For children over the age of 6, constant limits of exposure to the media must be established. The parent must ensure that media use does not interfere with the child's sleep, sport, and other behaviors that affect his / her health and development. In the same way, the association recommends that fixed times be established where there will be no access to media, such as dinner in the evening.

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