Ah, the joys of watching TV. Lately, television has become a favourite appliance around the world today, especially in well-developed countries. It is said that most households spend a lot of time in front of the television nowadays. Along with television use is also a widespread use of the internet, video games and mobile phones. All these are sedentary activities that are harmful to our health.
Too much television watching can cause children and adults to be violent. Several studies have also found out that watching too much television has undesirable effects on the brain. This is why young children should not be exposed to television at all. Watching television also makes the brain more receptive so that more people who watch television end up buying products advertised on it. Television also leads to a lower life expectancy and causes deaths just like cancers and heart attacks.
It is said that the number of hours of screen time is directly proportional to the number of health illnesses that a person can acquire. Too much television watching is said to bring about violence, aggressive behaviour, increased sexual activity among the youth, low self esteem, poor body image obesity, poor performance in school, sleep problems and many more. Obesity is one such result of watching too much television in all ages. Obesity in turn can bring about numerous medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
The reasons why television and other screen time activities promote obesity are numerous; some of these reasons include decreased physical activity, advertisements that encourage consumers to eat less healthy foods, snacking behaviour while watching television, and decreased metabolism due to sedentary activities.
To help avoid these detrimental results parents should switch off their television sets. They should also encourage their children to be active by spending time outside the house and taking a walk, working in the garden, playing with friends and family members, walking their pets and indulging on other physical activities.
Parents should also take out television sets, computers and video game consoles out of children's bedrooms. Children who have television sets in their bedrooms were found to watch TV more often and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods. Parents should also decide on the kind of shows children should watch. They should also teach kids on analyzing content of advertisements they watch over television. They should also express their own opinions regarding this matter and talk to their children's teachers and caregivers regarding policies in television watching and computer use. Parents should set an example to their children by being not dependent on-screen activities for their entertainment. Books and sports are other ways of enjoyment without turning on the television screen. There should be fun-filled activities in the schools and neighbourhood for families so that spending too much time in front of the television can be avoided.
Television and Weight Gain in the Young
A recent national study done by researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center found that having a bedroom television was a significant predictor of adolescent weight gain. The results of this study were published in the online issue of the JAMA Pediatrics on March 3, 2014. Through this study, the researchers suggested that removing televisions sets from the bedroom may play a big role in eliminating childhood obesity. Data were taken from over 6,522 children and adolescents aged 10-14 years from all 50 states. The researchers found out that 59% percent of these youths had a significantly higher change in body mass index regardless of other factors.
You can read more about staying fit and healthy by exploring our other articles on this site.