New Study Confirms What We Know: Too Much TV Is Bad For Kids

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Not that I needed anyone telling me that my 5-year-old watches too much TV, but Australian researchers have done just that. A new study shows that children who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing on the computer have at a higher risk for future heart attacks and strokes.

The study looked at 1,492 children ages 6 and 7 and asked their parents about screen-time habits and physical activity levels. Researchers at the University of Sydney then took pictures of tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye. Kids who spent the most time in front of the TV or computer screen had narrower eye arteries in the back of their eyes than those who spent less time, which means they have a higher risk of heart disease. Likewise, the more active kids had wider eye arteries compared to their couch-potato counterparts.

The fact that our kids need more exercise and less screen time will not come as a shock to most moms (myself included). But, still, I’m guilty of letting my boys watch hours upon hours of TV on a lazy Saturday morning while I prepare breakfast, sip coffee and, well, wake up (6:30 a.m. is an ungodly hour, I don’t care what anybody says). I try and counterbalance the screen time with lots of fresh air and running around, but sometimes that’s hard to do in sub-zero temperatures (Canadian winters are cold).

Does this make me a bad mom?

(Photo: TK)