Study: Mental Health Deteriorates With Increased Television

Men's Health, Mental Health, Woman's Health
In many previous blogs I've reminded you of the dangers of television exposure to your children and teens. Now, here's a warning for us adults: a new study has found that watching more than 4 hours of TV a day has an adverse effect on mental well-being. Here are the details from LifeSiteNews.com: The study was conducted by Mark Hamer, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, and research associates Emmanuel Stamatakis, PhD, and Gita D. Mishra, PhD. It analyzed the association of leisure-time sedentary behavior in adults, measured by television and screen-based entertainment (TVSE) time, and mental health. The researchers looked at mental health survey data of 3920 men and women between the ages of 35 and 65 years, from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey. The…
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Too Much Screen Time Can Threaten Attention Span

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
Kids and young adults who overdo TV and video games are almost twice as likely to have a wide variety of attention span problems -- at least according to a study in the journal Pediatrics. Here are the details in a report from HealthDay News: Too much time spent watching television and playing video games can double the risk of attention problems in children and young adults, new research finds. The study is the latest of many to point out the ill effects of excessive screen time, whether at the computer or the television. Researcher Edward Swing, a graduate student at Iowa State University, compared participants who watched TV or played video games less than two hours a day -- the recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics for children aged 2…
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Stricter Rules Can Steer Kids Away From TV

Children's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
I've blogged on the facts that (1) "Too Many Tots Watching Too Much TV" and (2) most parents don’t when children under two years of age are exposed to watching television that his has potential harms. There is NO scientific evidence that shows that television and video viewing in children of this age has any educational benefit. Instead, there have been several studies that have shown that TV viewing at 2 years of age and younger can have negative impacts on learning, language and attention and it’s also linked to childhood obesity. And physically active kids watch less television, researchers are now reporting. So, who can make a difference? You know the answer ... it's the parent! Here's a report with the details from HealthDay News: -- Children whose parents set…
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Too Many Tots Watching Too Much TV: Study

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
This headline is no surprise to long-time readers of this blog. But, despite the recommendations that children (over age two) be exposed to no more than two hours of screen time a day, and the recommendation that children two years of age and younger be exposed to NO TV, a study from Oregon finds that about than 1 in 5 of these very young children are exposed to MORE than the recommended 2 hours a day. Here's a report from HealthDay News: A study of 2-year-olds in Oregon finds that almost 20 percent watch more than the recommended two hours of television a day. "The findings are pretty generalizable to the rest of the country," said study co-author Dr. John Oh, an epidemic intelligence service officer with the U.S. Centers…
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Long-term harm seen with too much TV for toddlers

Children's Health, Parenting
The more TV a toddler watches, the higher the likelihood they will do badly at school and have poor health at the age of 10, researchers warn. The study of 1,300 children by Michigan and Montreal universities found negative effects on older children rose with every hour of toddler TV. Performance at school was worse, while consumption of junk foods was higher. Here are the details from BBC News: The study, part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development Main Exposure, asked parents how much TV their children watched at 29 months (two years and five months) and 53 months (four years and five months). On average, the two-year-olds watched just under nine hours of TV per week, while for four-year-olds the average was just under 15 hours. But 11% of the two-year-olds…
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More TV for toddlers equals school trouble later

Children's Health, Parenting
Toddlers who watch too much TV may struggle in school later, with measurably lower scores in math, Canadian and U.S. researchers reported recently. Less surprisingly, children who watched more TV at age 2 weighed more by the time they were 10 and ate more snacks and soft drinks, the researchers reported in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. "The results support previous suggestions that early childhood television exposure undermines attention," wrote Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal and colleagues at Bowling Green University in Kentucky and the University of Michigan. They said children who spend more time watching TV and less time playing with other kids may lose valuable chances to learn social skills. The researchers started with more than 2,000 children taking part in a larger study.…
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Daycare May Feed Your Kids’ TV Habit

Children's Health, Parenting
According to a AP story, "Parents who thought their preschoolers were spending time in home-based day cares, taking naps, eating healthy snacks and learning to play nicely with others may be surprised to discover they are sitting as many as two hours a day in front of a TV, according to a study published Monday." When added to the two to three hours many parents already admit to allowing at home, preschoolers in child care may be spending more than a third of the about 12 hours they are awake each day in front of the electronic baby sitter, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle and a researcher at the University of Washington. That's double the TV time he found in…
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Yet another study suggests television viewing may impair children’s language development

Children's Health, Mental Health, Parenting
As most parents will admit, nothing can occupy a child quite like the boob tube. What shocks most parents to learn is that more than a half dozen studies now suggest that the TV babysitter has a steep price: the more time babies spend sitting in front of a TV screen, the more their social, cognitive and language development may suffer. A brand new study add to others showing that TV-viewing tends to decrease babies' likelihood of learning new words, talking, playing, and otherwise interacting with others. More information: (more…)
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A blast from the past – YouTube video shows Dr. Walt’s ‘groundbreaking’ web events of 1999

Health Headlines
Speaking of memories (here on Memorial Day), I have fond memories of hosting a live, 5-night-a-week, cable TV show, “Ask the Family Doctor” on America’s Health Network and then Fox’s Health Network from 1995 – 2000. All-in-all, about 854 shows. Perhaps none was more watched than the first live birth on the Internet. More Information: (more…)
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Turn off TV during meals or kids may get fat: study

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
Reuters is reporting a study of childhood obesity in which University of Toronto nutritionist Harvey Anderson found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 extra calories than those who ate without the television on. "One of Anderson's conclusions is that eating while watching television overrides our ability to know when to stop eating," the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which funded the study, said on Tuesday. My Take? (more…)
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