A new study in Canada shows that early television watching, especially heavy TV watching, leads to many health, academic and social problems later in life.
The study of 1300 children born in Quebec between 1997 and 1998 showed that early TV watching is linked to:
1) Less engagement in classroom activities,
2) Less exercise on weekends,
3) More soft drink consumption, and
4) A higher chance of being picked on by classmates in the fourth grade.
According to Fox News, “The average time spent watching TV at 29 months was 8.82 hours per week, or about 1.2 hours per day. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 2 watch no TV, and children over age 2 watch no more than 2 hours per day.)”
“Television is a passive intellectual activity, television is a passive physical activity,” study researcher Linda S. Pagani of the Universite de Montreal says. “And, when it occurs early on, during the time that brain expansion is going on, during the time when lifestyle habits and preferences are talking place - they’re kind of crystallizing - it can have extremely negative long-term effects.”
Many other studies have shown that heavy television watching is linked to substance abuse problems, mental health problems, poor academic performance, aggressive and violent behavior, and even acceptance of socialism and atheism.
Even when the studies account for other factors such as sex, income level, ethnicity, and education level, the negative effects of heavy TV watching hold true.
- Fox News, 05/04/10.