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Are You Surprised the Average American Home Has More TVs Than People?

Taking into account the epidemic of obesity along with the frightening exercise debt that's harmingAmerica's health, it's no surprise to me, based on data reported byNielsen Media Research, the typical home has 2.55 people and 2.73 TVsets.

Some sad numbers about America's obsession with their TVs:

  • Less than 20 percent of American households own a single TV, while half own at least three.
  • The average person watches 275 minutes of TV per day, longer than it takes watch two movies of average length.
  • A TV set is turned on -- regardless if someone is watching it or not -- more than eight hours a day, an additional hour over the previous decade.
  • Just 30 years ago, only 11 percent of American households owned at least three TVs.

Here's the scariest number of them all: Because Nielsen is now usinga sampling formula called the People Meter, that eight hours a TV setis on during the day may represent a low number in some homes.

Some of you may not be so worried about those numbers, sloughingthem off as more extreme than true. But if you raise small children andvisit my Web site often, however, you already understand how much of aproblem an always-on TV can be for all sorts of reasons that will harm them later on in life. That's why you'll want to put stringent limits on your children's TV habits, as well as your own.

Digital Trends September 26, 2006

USA Today September 21, 2006