March 18, 2018 by: Edsel Cook
News) A recent Canadian study proved the American Academy of
Pediatrics(AAP) right about the bad effects of watching
excessive television. Toddlers who watch TV for extended periods
starting from the age of two turned out to be far more likely to suffer
from bad grades and unhealthy diets when they became adolescents.
de Montréal (UM) researchers took a look at the TV consumption,
dietary, and academic habits of nearly 2,000 Quebec boys and girls. Born
between 1997 and 1998, these children came under observation when they
turned five months old.
their child turned two years old, the parents made a report on their
son/daughter’s TV viewing habits. Eleven years later,
the adolescents themselves were interviewed about their eating
habits, their academic performance, and their current TV consumption.
much is known about how excessive screen exposure in early childhood
relates to lifestyle choices in adolescence,” said Professor Linda
Pagani, the corresponding author of the study. “This birth cohort is
ideal, because the children were born before smartphones and tablets, and
before any pediatric viewing guidelines were publicized for parents to
Isabelle Simonato theorized that watching too much TV encourages
toddlers to be sedentary. She believed children who developed a preference
for effortless leisure activities would not become
interested school and other non-leisure activities. (Related: Experts
warn that kids who watch TV see more ads for junk food, consuming on
average 500 more snacks per year than kids who don’t.)
TV leads to bad diets and unhealthy habits
to the UM study, for every hour a toddler was allowed to watch TV
past the first one, there was a matching increase of 8 percent
consumption of unhealthy foods at age 13.
adolescents binged on television, french fries, processed meats
and cold cuts, white bread, soft drinks and other unhealthy drinks,
snacks, and desserts. In contrast, they ate 10 percent less
every additional hour of TV viewing as a toddler increased an
adolescent’s body mass index (BMI) by 10 percent. An early-TV
adolescent also put less effort in the first year of secondary
school, which inhibited their motivation to succeed in later years.
study tells us that overindulgent lifestyle habits begin in early
childhood and seem to persist throughout the life course. An
effortless existence creates health risks. For our society that means a
bigger health care burden associated with obesity and lack of
cardiovascular fitness,” warned Professor Pagani.
AAP issued new guidelines that encouraged parents to limit their
children’s daily TV viewing to one hour. The
researchers compared their data with the data of children who
watched less than one hour of TV each day.
they found out that children who exceeded the AAP-set TV viewing
guidelines were far more prone to unhealthy eating habits,
skipped breakfast on weekdays, suffered from a higher BMI, watched even
more TV, and were poor students.
TV discourages adolescents from working hard
preschool, parents use screen time as a reward and as a distraction. They
establish quiet ‘idling’ at a teachable moment when children could
actually be learning self-control,” warned Pagani.
distraction as a reward to help children behave in situations where they
should be learning self-control sets them on a trajectory where they will
seek out distraction when faced with demands for cognitive effort.”
researchers concluded that a system that rewarded distraction and mental
sloth will decrease the enthusiasm that a young person should
feel for education. In order to ensure adolescents develop
healthy behaviors, they recommended that parents follow AAP guidelines and
limit TV viewing for young children.