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Turn Off the TV - Turn On Your Health

Posted Aug 04 2008 7:14pm

Do your children spend hours in front of the television or playing video games?  How about hours in front of the computer?  These acts are actually damaging to their health.

In the March 2008 issue ofArchives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicineit was found that turning off the television or computer helped improve the health of younger children.  This was determined with a study they performed on 70 overweight children ages 4 to 7.  They were put into two different groups.  One group used a automatic device placed on the television or computer to keep track of time of use.  This group was also rewarded for reducing their television or computer time.  The other group had no device to monitor their time use or reward system.

The results after 24 months were astounishing.  The children with the monitoring device reduced their television viewing time or computer use by over 17 hours per week, where the other group only reduced their time by 5 hours.  The first group also reduced their body mass where as the second group actually increased their body mass.  By these results alone, it is evident that reducing the time a child spends in front of a television will be beneficial to their overall health.

I am guilty of using the television as a ‘baby sitter’ at times, but also limit the use of it, especially video games.  Educational programs are great, but let’s be honest, how often do our children choose educational programs?  It is up to us as adults and parents to guide our children and limit their television and computer use.  Spend more time doing physical activities, like playing outside as a family or taking walks together.

You and your children will be on the road to a healthier lifestyle and much more worth it than wasted time on the couch in front of a television.  So, be sure to limit your television time and set a good example to your children, they will love you for it in the long run.

Until next time,

Dr. Daisy

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