Reducing television for children: CDC health warnings

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Reducing TV for children
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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning parents about excessive screen time for children. A new report reveals that children between the ages of 12 to 15 are spending too much time in front of a television, and their TV use still exceeds their computer use. The CDC has put together a long list of health problems that are linked to excessive screen time.

Children watch too much TV and spend too much time on computers

The CDC is not the first organization to recommend that parents reduce television and computer time for children. Multiple studies have found that a sedentary lifestyle is increasing among youth in the United States at the same time that computer, phone and TV usage is increasing. However, the new report provides updated information on how much time children between the ages of 12 to 15 actually spend in front of a screen.

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The study found that 98.5 percent were watching television every day and easily exceeded the recommendation of only spending two hours in front of the TV per day. In addition, 91 percent were using a computer every day, and this was not at school.

Health warnings from the CDC

The CDC warns that spending too much time in front of a screen can have a long-term impact on health. In addition to common problems such as obesity and insomnia, children can suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Recent studies also associated too much time in front of a TV with heart disease, diabetes and earlier deaths.

It may not be possible to completely eliminate screen time in front of a TV or computer for a child, but experts recommend reducing it to two hours a day. They also suggest that the old adage of spending more time outside will benefit youth.

Image: Aaron Escobar/Wikimedia Commons

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