TV Affecting Kids’ Health

· Lifestyle
Authors

TV Affecting Kids’ Health

The glow of a television or a
computer is robbing children of
sleep and potentially contributing
to poor lifestyle habits and
obesity.

A Canadian study adds to the
growing body of evidence that
children’s sleep patterns are being
adversely impacted by technology.

The University of Alberta research
surveyed 3,400 grade five
students and found that half of
them had a television, DVD player
or video game console in their
room.

Twenty-one per cent had a
computer and 17 per cent had a
mobile phone. Five per cent had all
three types of devices.

Almost 60 per cent of students
used the devices after they were
supposed to be asleep, with most
watching TV and movies. Children
with one or more of these devices
in their bedrooms were more
likely to be overweight or obese.

Kids with one electronic device
were 1.5 times as likely to be
overweight as children with no
devices in the bedroom. That
increased to 2.6 times for kids
with three devices, with similar
results reported among obese
children.

But getting even one hour of
additional sleep a night decreased
the odds of being overweight or
obese by 28 and 30 per cent,
respectively.

“If you want your kids to sleep
better and live a healthier lifestyle,
get the technology out of the
bedroom,” said co-author
Professor Paul Veugelers.

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