Posted by: Tony Carson | 4 September, 2007

TV can cause attention problems

The boob tube doesn’t just dumb you down and make you fat, a study now indicates that it causes attention problems in later years.

A Reuters article entitled Study links attention problems to early TV viewing explains that a long-term study in New Zealand indicated that “those children (in the study group) who watched more than two hours, and particularly those who watched more than three hours, of television per day during childhood had above-average symptoms of attention problems in adolescence.”

There may be two reasons for this:

• the rapid scene changes common to many TV programs may over-stimulate the developing brain of a young child, and could make reality seem boring by comparison. “Hence, children who watch a lot of television may become less tolerant of slower-paced and more mundane tasks, such as school work.”

• It was also possible that TV viewing may supplant other activities that promote concentration, such as reading, games, sports and play, he said. The lack of participation inherent in TV watching might also condition children when it comes to other activities.

Previous studies have linked the sedentary habit of TV watching among children to obesity and diabetes, and another study in the same journal cited the poor nutritional content of the overwhelming majority of food products advertised on the top-rated U.S. children’s television shows.

Up to 98 percent of the TV ads promoting food products that were directed at children aged 2 through 11 “were high in either fat, sugar, or sodium,” wrote Lisa Powell of the University of Illinois in Chicago.

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