Television: A One-Eyed Invader in the Bedroom
March 22, 2008
More than half of American children have a television in their bedroom; one study put the number at 70 percent. Meanwhile, a growing body of research shows strong links between a TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.
Children with TVs in their bedroom:
- Score lower on school tests
- Are more likely to have sleep problems
- Are more likely to be overweight
- May have an increased risk of smoking
Of course, children with TVs in their bedrooms are also more likely to watch more TV. One study of 80 children, found that a TV in the bedroom increased viewing time by nearly nine hours a week.
When researchers put monitoring devices on the televisions that reduced children’s viewing time by half (by not allowing the TV to turn on once the quota was reached), they found that:
- Relative body mass index dropped
- Children snacked less, consuming more than 100 calories less per day
Numerous other studies have also found links between health and mental problems and bedroom TVs. The advice to keep your child healthy? Ban the TV from their bedroom.