After years of kids being told that too much TV was bad for them it appears parents might have been right. Two different stories I ran across a couple of days ago suggest that not only does TV mean kids stay up late and are too tired for school but also has serious health issues too.
When I was young my parents told me if I watched too much TV, or sat too close, my eyes would go square. They didn’t, but a report by Dr Aric Sigman, who looked at 35 scientific studies concluded that too much TV has a lot of negative affects, perhaps the most disturbing is:
Watching TV suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin, which has important functions in the immune system, sleep cycle and the onset of puberty, it found.
Girls are reaching puberty much earlier than in the 1950s, partly because their average weight has increased but possibly also because of lower melatonin levels.
The other possible affects include:
- Early childhood television viewing may be a trigger for autism.
- Permanent eyesight damage has been strongly linked to TV watching.
- Viewing TV may be a bigger factor in causing obesity than diet or exercise.
- The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases with each extra daily hour of television viewing among people aged 20 to 60.
- TV viewing is associated with irregular sleeping patterns among infants and toddlers.
- Watching television significantly increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.