A study that has been released suggests that infants who spend long periods in front of the television may be at greater risk of developing medical problems later in life, including premature puberty, sleep disturbances, and metabolic disorders.
The findings came from a combination of a few studies.
The author of the survey, psychologist Aric Sigman, said many studies were beginning to emerge that suggest spending long periods in front of a screen, whether a television or a computer, may have damaging physiological effects.
One study, by a team at Florence University, found that watching television and playing computer games lowered the amount of the sleep hormone, melatonin, children produced, an effect that could bring on earlier puberty.
Other studies listed in the survey, published in today’s issue of Biologist, the journal of the Institute of Biology, claim possible links between television viewing and attention deficit disorder, obesity, short-sightedness and Alzheimer’s disease. “There’s enough evidence to suspect something is going on, so we should err on the side of caution,” said Mr Sigman.
According to figures from the broadcasters’ audience research board, the average 75-year-old Briton will have spent more than 12 years watching TV. Children aged between 11 and 15 now spend 55% of their waking lives in front of the screen, amounting to 53 hours a week. More than half of three-year-olds now have a television set in their bedroom.
I believe these studies. Kids don’t spend even a fraction of the time outside that we did as kids. Part of it may be safety, but the rest is laziness.
Who is buying their kids a personal television a 3 1/2 years old??