Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Negative Outcomes of Early Childhood Television Exposure

Baby Boomers with grandkids, GenXs starting a family take note.

More time spent in front of the TV before reaching kindergarten age appears to be associated with adverse effects.

This finding comes from a study on 1,300 Canadian children, which found that increased viewing time at two years was associated with adverse effects on health, lifestyle, and academic performance later on.

Parents were asked to report how much TV their kids watched at 29 months and at 53 months in age. Teachers were asked to evaluate academic, psychosocial and health habits, while body mass index (BMI) was measured at 10 years old.

Each additional hour of TV viewing at age 29 months was associated with less classroom engagement, increased victimization by classmates, and lower math scores in fourth grade (9 to 10 years of age) according to Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal, and colleagues.

The children who watched more TV also had worse dietary habits, played more video games, and were less physically active, and, ultimately, higher body mass index.

"Although we expected the impact of early TV viewing to disappear after seven and a half years of childhood, the fact that negative outcomes remained is quite daunting," says Dr. Pagani

"Early childhood is a critical period for brain development and formation of behaviour," warns Dr. Pagani. "High levels of TV consumption during this period can lead to future unhealthy habits. Despite clear recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics suggesting less than two hours of TV per day -- beyond the age of two -- parents show poor factual knowledge and awareness of such existing guidelines."

Journal Reference:

Linda S. Pagani, Caroline Fitzpatrick, Tracie A. Barnett, Eric Dubow. Prospective Associations Between Early Childhood Television Exposure and Academic, Psychosocial, and Physical Well-being by Middle Childhood. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2010;164(5):425-431.

This may be of further interest :


MCTF was initiated based on the growing need of parents and their children for a value-based integrated approach to entertaining and educating the children of Malaysia with a long range view of developing them into wholesome, well-informed, open and creative citizens of the nation.

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Increasing evidence from both epidemiological and intervention studies, reviewed here, indicates that DHA supplementation, during pregnancy, lactation, or childhood plays an important role in childhood neurodevelopment.

Journal Reference:

Ryan AS, Astwood JD, Gautier S, Kuratko CN, Nelson EB, Salem N Jr. Effects of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation on neurodevelopment in childhood: a review of human studies. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2010 Apr-Jun;82(4-6):305-14

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