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TV and Kids: Some Scary Numbers

As you know, TV is one of the most popular topics on my Web site, due largely to how it contributes to a society who pays far more attention to the trivial and far less to the real world around them, often at the expense of their family, friends and collective health. It's certainly been a huge factor in the obesity crisis that's reached epidemic levels. So much so that companies have created devices as small a car door remotes that can turn off a nearby TV, merely by pushing a button.

If you don't believe that idiot box in your living room is a big problem, guess again, according to a media study released earlier this month by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some interesting numbers collected in the study from kids ages 8-18:

  • TVs are on most of the time according to 51 percent.
  • Fifty-three percent have no rules about TV viewing.
  • Sixty-three percent say the TV is usually on during meals.
  • Boys spend 72 minutes a day on average playing video games.
  • Black children spend more than four hours in front of the tube every day.

Kids are easy and impressionable targets. It's up to parents to step in and limit the amount of TV time/advertising their kids are exposed to each day. All it takes is one simple step: Turn off the television and encourage your kids to take part in a productive activity like exercise or physically active play. There are far too many things to do in life -- places to visit, books to read, sports to play -- to waste so many hours a week watching TV.

Kaiser Family Foundation March 9, 2005 Full Free-Text Articles

USA Today March 31, 2005

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