A recent study has shown that children who watch television for more than 2 hours daily may be heading for various health problems in adulthood. In a study conducted in New Zealand, 1000 kids (born in 1972 and 1973) were followed up until 26 years of age. At the beginning of the study the parent of each kid were enquired about their child’s television viewing habits. As the kids grew older the children themselves told the researchers the number of hours, for which they watched television daily. Television viewing was assessed in the children at 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 21 years of age.
At the end of the study the researchers came to the conclusion that children who were in a habit of watching more television (>2 hours) were at an increased risk of developing health problems and habits such as obesity, increased cholesterol levels, smoking and poor fitness. In fact, researchers attributed between 15-17% of such health problems among 26 year olds to excessive television watching in childhood. It appeared to be a significant factor for health problems in adulthood even after taking into account other factors such as history of smoking in parents or childhood obesity.
Hence, researchers suggest that excessive television watching in childhood could have significant consequences for adult health. Therefore, it is imperative for parents to keep a check on their children’s television viewing (ideally, less than one hour) and encourage them to get involved in more of physical activities (such as outdoor games).