In the medical news lately there have been research findings of the impact of screen time (TV and computer) on both children and adults. For individuals and/or families struggling to fight obesity and lead a healthier life, the evidence points towards limiting the amount of time spent in front of the TV and/or computer. In the National Weight Control Registry, individuals who lost a significant amount of weight and kept if off for a year, watched no more than 10 hours per week of TV.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement that too much time parked in front of the television or computer screen is driving the epidemic of childhood obesity in the U.S. Researchers have found that U.S. children and teens spend an average of seven hours a day using various forms of media – more time than they spend doing anything except sleeping! The policy statement went on to say that parents should limit non-educational screen time to no more than two hours a day, and avoid putting TV sets and internet connections in the children’s bedrooms.
Adults are at risk as well if they spend a lot of time in front of the TV or computer. According to a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Grontved and Hu, a couple hours of daily TV watching can add up to substantial risk of type 2 diabetes (20%), heart disease (15%), and death (13%) . The average adult in the US watches an average of 5 hours a day of TV. No more than 2 hours per day is recommended!
The problem with the amount of time spent in front of the TV/and or computer is not just the inactivity, but also the viewing of fast food and “junk’ food advertising especially for children. In addition many people snack and eat while watching TV. So perhaps it is time to evaluate in your life or your family’s, the amount and quality of screen time that is spent on a daily basis. TV and computers are here to stay, but moderation in the use of them will make for a healthier life!