Screen Time's Toll On Our Kids' Health
Children who watch more than five hours of TV per day are more than four times as likely to be overweight, compared to children who watch less than two hours per day. According to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overweight children have an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems, depression, menstrual irregularities, and other health problems.
Kids who watch more TV are also more likely to eat the foods they see advertised on commercials, many of which are for junk foods. Commercial television programs aimed at children include an average of more than one food advertisement every five minutes. One study estimates that the average American child watches 10,000 food commercials per year. In addition, free Internet game sites are a new vehicle for advertising to children, especially for food items.
Equally troubling, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and other leading health organizations have said that children's exposure to violent media is a risk factor for their being violent in real life. Moreover, many studies have also shown a relationship between hours watched and lower academic achievement, and alcohol and tobacco abuse.