Turn Off the TV, Turn on Life

Media usage linked to obesity and poor sleeping

(RxWiki News) Media has its pros and cons but allowing children too much screen time can become both addicting and fattening. So, find a lifestyle that does not involve any form of media to be the healthiest.

Media has taken the blame for the growing rate of obesity - from the inactive lifestyle of sitting and watching TV, playing on the computer or chatting away on a cell phone. Now researchers are suggesting another link between media and obesity.

"Too much TV is bad for kids physically and mentally."

The study from the American Academy of Pediatrics found that junk food and fast-food advertisements are increasing kids’ desire for these unhealthy foods. The study also shows that children are more likely to snack while watching TV or movies.

Researchers found that media can also interfere with healthy sleeping habits, which has been linked to obesity.

The policy recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics proposes that health professionals:

  • Work with schools and child care centers to start media education programs
  • Encourage parents to teach children about good nutrition and food advertising from these media education programs
  • Advise parents to allow their children to watch only two hours of non-educational TV time and take the TVs and computers out of bedrooms

The researchers also recommend that health professionals educate parents about increased stress associated with more screen time, which can lead to other conditions like diabetes, mood disorders and asthma.

The research is published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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Review Date: 
June 28, 2011