TV has become an integral part of society, but what does it do to the health of our children? The latest studies link conditions such as childhood obesity and ADD with watching TV. Watching TV is a sedentary activity. Commercials advertise health-damaging junk foods that are geared towards children. Watching TV does discourage interaction with others, and goes much too fast for the child’s developing brain.
When children spend time on the computer, watching TV and playing video games, they tend to eat more. Usually the food they consume is junk food. The leading beverage consumed is soda pop. This lack of exercise combined with consuming extra empty calories can lead to childhood obesity.
Soda pop is worse for the body than many junk foods. The child will focus in on the TV show or the computer game. They will lose track of how many cans of pop they drank. Each can of pop contains up to 12 teaspoons of sugar, zero nutrition, phosphoric acid, artificial flavors and artificial colours. Some contain Aspartame.
Sugar weakens the immune system and leads to Diabetes, heart problems tooth decay and more. Excess sugar also contributes to weight gain. Zero nutrition leaves bodies crying for more nutrition, which will increase hunger and junk food cravings. Pop also takes vitamins and minerals from the body to process the sugar.
Phosphoric Acid causes bones to weaken, which means the bones will be more likely to fracture when children exercise. This effect is magnified if the pop contains caffeine, (www.mercola.com).
Aspartame is known to kill brain cells and can set off seizures, (“Excitotoxins, The Taste that Kills”, Russell L. Blaylock, MD). Aspartame is also sweet, which increases cravings for more sweets. This how the pop affects children’s bodies, and does not begin to take into account other junk foods.
Watching TV overloads children’s brains with information in a short period of time, causing developing brains to be over stimulated. This can cause permanent damage in the baby’s developing neural pathways. When the child starts school, they often have trouble paying attention. For every hour a day of TV watched between the ages of one and three, the risk of ADD goes up by10%. “Studies show that ADD has increased with the introduction of children’s television in the 1950’s, then spiked higher in the mid 1980’s when VCR’s and home video became commonplace.” (It’s Official: TV Linked to Attention Deficit, Jean Lotus). Scientists have long since guessed that there was a cause for ADD other than genetics, as it has spread through every social class.
Children should watch a maximum 2 hours a day of TV, computer or videogames. Between the ages of one and three, less than two hours would be better. Children tend to watch more when the TV is in their bedroom, so take the TV out!
Children’s health is greatly at risk; it’s time to limit the amount of TV, computer and Video games they watch and to also view the content. Monitor how long children watch TV or play on the computer by showing them on a clock. It gives them empowerment. It doesn’t always work, as children are easily distracted, but at least parents are making children aware of time limits. Explain to children what a TV does to them; make them aware of consequences, but still keep an eye on the time they spend on their video games, computer and their TV.