Study shows television could affect kids’ physical and emotional health

Kids between ages two and five spend on average 32 hours a week in front of a TV. Some parents find it convenient to put a television in their child’s room. But a new study shows that might not be good for kids’ physical or emotional health later on.

Are screens scattered throughout your house? The average American home has 2.3 TVs. However, a new study suggests you might want to avoid putting one in your child’s room.

Scientists studied 1,859 boys and girls. They found kids with TVs in their bedrooms at age four displayed more unhealthy habits by age 12. Specifically, preschoolers with TVs in their rooms were reported to be more likely to be overweight and eat unhealthy foods. They also reported increased loneliness, sadness, depression, negative self-esteem, and aggression. Also, they said they were less sociable.

Experts believe having a TV in the bedroom may lead to isolation, less physical activity, and poor sleeping habits. Limit screen time to two hours a day or less. Most kids should get at least an hour of daily moderate-to-vigorous exercise and between nine and eleven hours of sleep a night. Remember it’s not just how much TV your child is watching, it’s also where the viewing is taking place.

Authors of the study say while this research focused only on TV watching, it may apply to other forms of screen use like tablets and iPhones.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, News Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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