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The Informed Parent

Personal Televisions And Teens

by Shanna R. Cox, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Oct. 20, 2008

A recent study found in Pediatric News highlighted once again the tried and true mantra often heard in family households, “turn off the TV!”

A public health study conducted out of the University of Minnesota evaluated more than 750 fifteen-to-eighteen year old teens for Project Eating Among Teens. This research was interested in studying teens who have televisions in their bedrooms. How did this correlate to their amount of time spent watching TV, to their dietary choices, and to exercise habits?

The study analyzed the teens’ answers to point out the following trends:

  • Teens with televisions in their bedroom spent more time watching it than those who did not have a personal TV.
  • These same teens spent less time participating in vigorous activities. They ate less fruits and vegetables and chose more sweetened beverages than those without a personal TV.
  • Finally, teens with televisions in their bedroom ate fewer meals with the family.

These trends were similar among both girls and boys, although boys were slightly more likely than girls to have a television in their bedroom.

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