Throughout the past twenty years, television has brought many benefits into Americans' lives, such as up-to-the-second local and national news, an entire network devoted to public education, and many hours of unstoppable laughter and merriment. The fact that is overlooked by Americans is the effect TV viewing has upon children. Television can be very damaging to the health and prosperity of young people. .
According to Andrews University's clinical studies, the most prevalent nutritional disease among American children is obesity. Andrews also states that the prevalence of obesity has increased among children and adolescents in the United States over the past twenty years. This increase in overweight children can be directly related to the number of hours spent watching television. Watching television replaces time that normally would be spent in normal childhood activities, such as playing baseball, riding a bike, or playing tag. In the United States, there are more than 11 million children and teenagers that are overweight; increasing their risk for elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Kid's Health Online states that children that consistently spend more than ten hours per week watching TV are more likely to be overweight, aggressive, and slower to learn in school. In a typical year, an average student spends 900 hours in school and nearly 1500 hours in front of a television. The Heart Information Network conducted a comprehensive study of 4000 children, ranging in age from eight to sixteen years old. The researchers studied the data from lifestyle interviews and compared these findings to both the child's body mass and fat index. Children that watched more than four or more hours of television a day had a higher body fat percentile and a greater mass index than children who watched less than two hours a day. .
Parents should help their children develop good TV viewing habits.