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Why teenagers should turn off TV and turn on life
In today’s society school age children are at risk from excessive screen time. Here are some interesting but alarming facts gathered by an American organisation; Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.
Research shows the negative impact of time spend by young people in front of the “box”.
- Including multitasking, children ages 8 to18 years old spend an average of 4 ½ hours per day watching television, 1 ½ hours using computers, and more than an hour playing video games. 
- Reducing screen time can help prevent childhood obesity. 
- Children who spend less time watching television in early years tend to do better in school, have a healthier diet, be more physically active, and are better able to engage in school work in later elementary school. 
- Television viewing at a young age is associated with later behavioural problems, but not if heavy viewing is discontinued before age 6. 
- Limiting exposure to television during the first 4 years of life may decrease children’s interest in it in later years. 
- Children with 2 or more hours of daily screen time are more likely to have increased psychological difficulties, including hyperactivity, emotional and conduct problems, as well as difficulties with peers. 
- Adolescents who watch 3 or more hours of television daily are at especially high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long-term academic failure. 
- Adolescents with a television in their bedroom spend more time watching TV and report less physical activity, less healthy dietary habits, worse school performance, and fewer family meals. 
 Christakis, D., Zimmerman, F. (2006). Early television viewing is associated with protesting turning off the television at age 6. Medscape General Medicine, 8(2), 63.
 Pagani, L., Fitzpatrick,C., Barnett, T. A., & Dubow, E. (2010). Prospective associations between early childhood television exposure and academic, psychosocial, and physical well-being by middle childhood. Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, 164(5), 425-431.
 Rideout, V. J., Foehr, U. G., Roberts, D. F. (2010). Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds. Kaiser Family Foundation.
 Page, A.S., Cooper, A.R., Griew, P., Jago, R. (2010). Children’s screen viewing is related to psychological difficulties irrespective of physical activity. Pediatrics. 126(5), 1011-1017.
 Johnson, J., Brook, J., Cohen, P., Kasen, S. (2007). Extensive television viewing and the development of attention and learning difficulties during adolescence. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 161(5), 480-486.
 Barr-Anderson, D.J., van den Berg, P., Neumark-Sztainer, D., Story, M. (2008). Characteristics associated with older adolescents who have a television in their bedrooms. Pediatrics, 121(4), 718-724.
 Epstein LH, Roemmich JN, Robinson JL, Paluch RA, Winiewicz DD, Fuerch JH, Robinson TN. (2008). A randomized trial of the effects of reducing television viewing and computer use on body mass index in young children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 162(3):239-45.
 Mistry KB, Minkovitz CS, Strobino, DM, Borzekowski, DLG. (2007). Children’s television exposure and behavioral and social outcomes at 5.5 years: Does timing of exposure matter? Pediatrics, 120, 762-769.
Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood.