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TV Gets a Time Out

Posted Dec 23 2008 9:15pm
Once again we have a big new shiny study telling us tv and other electronic media are the devils incarnate. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health looked at a big pile of studies done since 1980, what we geeky types know as a "meta-analysis" because they analyze results over a large number of studies checking for trends. Kids who watch a lot of tv turn out to have more problems, including obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, and poor school performance. What's a lot of tv? Here's an answer thanks to Reuters:

"One study cited in the report found that children who spent more than eight hours watching TV per week at age 3 were more likely to be obese at 7."

Eight hours!

Would it be any wonder their eyes weren't popping out of their tiny heads. But then again, I haven't read the actual research article so maybe they were.

Yes, we get it, lots of tv is probably not a good thing. But what about moderate amounts? And what about other factors that might lead to kids watching tv all day long? Things might account for the tv viewer's later troubles in life? What might enable a child to sit in front of the tv all day? Or play in front of it all day? A parent or caretaker who is otherwise occupied or unable to provide any kind of non-electronic stimulation? Might it be this lack of stimulation, of imaginative playtime, or lack of human interaction and not the boob tube?
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