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New Study: Toddler TV Time Causes Problems in Grade School

05.12.10 New Study: Toddler TV Time Causes Problems in Grade School

This week more evidence of the damage caused by too much television in the toddler years emerged in a recent study. Turns out problems with toddlers who watch too much TV can show up years later, in grade school. Issues include lower grades, poorer health and more problems with school bullies.

According to Science Daily, "We found every additional hour of TV exposure among toddlers corresponded to a future decrease in classroom engagement and success at math, increased victimization by classmates, have a more sedentary lifestyle, higher consumption of junk food and, ultimately, higher body mass index," says lead author Dr. Linda S. Pagani, a psychosocial professor at the Université de Montréal and researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center.

It is not surprising that the children in this study group ate more unhealthy foods, were less active, and less successful in school. There are only so many hours in the day, and the children were more sedentary all around, starting during their toddler years. As a teacher, it is usually easy to tell what students of mine have watched too much television continually, or have televisions in their rooms. They are often tired, are less likely to be fluent and independent readers, and sometimes are less creative.  I'm not surprised to see this study, but I am glad to see that studies like this are being done, and getting attention.  This study also branches out into several areas, looking at nutritional, physical, and academic success and health.  These are intricately tied, and to look at TV viewing habits in children through the lens of all of these, is wise. 


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