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Too much TV in childhood takes its toll as a teen

Tuesday 27/February/2018 - 01:14 PM
Sada El Balad
A recent study looked into the long-term effects of watching too much television as a toddler. Somewhat surprisingly، the impact could be measured in the children's dietary habits، weight، and behavior as teenagers. Medics Today said.
Paradoxically، in this fast-paced modern world we live in، humans are more and more inclined to sit for long periods of time staring at screens.

This shift in habits is considered by many to have a negative impact on our children.

Though most parents try to limit the amount of screen time that their children have، the ever-growing number of screens per household is making it more and more challenging.

For instance، around 1 in 3 infants in the United States have a television in their bedroom، and nearly half of all children watch television or DVDs for almost 2 hours each day.

Screen time and negative outcomes
Evidence is mounting that screen time has a negative impact on children as they develop. Because watching TV is sedentary both physically and mentally، connectivity may be disturbed in the rapidly developing toddler brain. Also، it has the potential to set up negative habits for later life — choosing easier، less demanding activities over physically or mentally challenging pastimes، for example.

Studies have revealed that increased screen time for toddlers and kindergarten children increases the risk of having a higher body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference as they enter the first grade. Other studies have found that waist circumference and physical fitness are adversely impacted as children enter fourth grade.

Off the back of these findings، in October 2016، the American Academy of Pediatrics reduced the guidelines for television viewing in children aged 2–5 years to no more than 1 hour per day.

Although there is little debate that excess television viewing has unfavorable health consequences، the impact of early TV viewing on behavior as the child enters their teens is less known. It was this direction that a team of Canadian researchers recently took. In particular، they were interested in lifestyle outcomes، such as school performance and dietary choices.

The researchers were led by Prof. Linda Pagani and graduate student Isabelle Simonato، from the School of Psychoeducation at the Université de Montréal in Canada. They took data from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development.

Edited by rehab sayed

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