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John at Disney
FOUR REASONS TO TURN OFF THE TELEVISION
1. TV is bad news for your heart. A study published early this year in the European Heart Journal discovered that people who own a television and a car tend to be at increased risk for heart attack. It makes sense. When you're parked in front of the tube or in the driver's seat, you are most likely sitting around -- and spending hours being sedentary is not helping your heart health at all.
2. TV is linked to bad eating habits. A nationwide survey from May published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that there is indeed a link between watching a lot of TV and unhealthy eating habits. The survey of over 12,000 students in grades 5 to 10 found that television watching is associated with both unhealthy snacking while viewing, and with unhealthy eating at all times. That's real food for thought! For your youngsters -- and for you -- the recommendation is to limit daily TV viewing time and make sure you are stocked up on healthy snacks, like apples, bananas, and carrots.
3. Background TV has a negative Impact on Learning. Back in April, preliminary research sourced from the International Communication Association found that American children are being exposed to background TV for nearly four hours each day. Previous research has suggested that too much background TV may impact children's learning and development negatively. One example the study authors point to is that background TV seems to diminish reading ability. So, switch it off when no one is watching, and consider the consequences of having a TV in a youngster's bedroom.
4. There are so many other fun things to do than watch TV! When you aren't watching the boob tube, not only are you benefiting your health, but you are also opening up extra time to do all sorts of fun and life-enhancing activities. What to do with all that freed up time? Take a class and learn something new! Go for a walk in the park or take a bike ride around town. Read a book, make an elaborate meal, spend time in the community, or have a game-night with friends and family. Instead of passively watching a television show, imagine the enjoyment of having an actual dialogue in good company!