Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ban the TV...

By some estimates, half of American children have a television in their bedroom; one study of third graders put the number at 70 percent. And a growing body of research shows strong associations between TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.
Children with bedroom TVs score lower on school tests and are more likely to have sleep problems. Having a television in the bedroom is strongly associated with being overweight and a higher risk for
One of the most obvious consequences is that the child will simply end up watching far more television — and many parents won’t even know.
(...) the presence of a television in the bedroom increased average viewing time by nearly nine hours a week, to 30 hours from 21. And parents of those children were more likely to underestimate their child’s viewing time.
“If it’s in the bedroom, the parents don’t even really know what the kids are watching,” said Leonard H. Epstein, professor of
pediatrics and social and preventive medicine( ...). “Oftentimes, parents who have a TV in the kids’ bedrooms have TVs in their bedrooms.”
Moreover, once the set is in the child’s room, it is very likely to stay. “In our experience, it is often hard for parents to remove a television set from a child’s bedroom,” Dr. Epstein said.

The researchers found that cutting into TV time did not increase exercise levels. Instead, the children snacked less, lowering their consumption more than 100 calories a day.
But in 2002, the journal Pediatrics reported that preschool children with bedroom TVs were more likely to be overweight. In October, the journal Obesity suggested that the risk might be highest for boys. In a study among French adolescents, boys with a bedroom television were more likely than their peers to have a larger waist size and higher body fat and body mass index.
The French study also showed, not surprisingly, that boys and girls with bedroom TVs spent less time reading than others.
Other data suggest that bedroom television affects a child’s schoolwork.

(...) About 70 percent of the children in the study had their own TV in the bedroom; they scored significantly and consistently lower on math, reading and language-arts tests. Students who said they had computers in their homes scored higher.
Why a bedroom television appears to have such a pronounced impact is unclear. It may be that it’s a distraction during homework time or that it interferes with sleep, resulting in poorer performance at school. It could also suggest less overall parental involvement.
Another study of more than 700 middle-school students, ages 12 to 14, found that those with bedroom TVs were twice as likely to start smoking — even after controlling for such risk factors as having a parent or friend who smokes or low parental engagement. Among kids who had a TV in the bedroom 42 percent smoked; among the others, the figure was 16 percent.
“I think it matters quite a lot,” Dr. Epstein said. “There are all kinds of problems that occur when kids have TVs in their bedroom.”
So while many parents try to limit how much television and what type of shows their children watch, that may be less than half the battle. Where a child watches is important too.

in The New York Times


Blogger Cátia said...

Minha querida amiga,

Hoje é dia da Mulher, dia que se deve repetir todos os dias... Mas hoje, particularmente hoje, venho dar-te um beijnho cheio de carinho, e agradecer-te por seres a Mulher extraordinária que és...

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3:32 pm  
Blogger Patrícia said...

Hi teacher :)

Today, we all comemorate the women's day! I wish you a wonderful day :)


10:09 pm  

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