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May 09, 2010

New research - Early exposure to TV has severe long-term effects on educational achievement and health

New research published in the May edition of 'Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine' indicates that TV has a strong negative effect on young children and raises fundamental questions about the influence of technology on children both at home and in the classroom. The implications for both parents and teachers are far reaching. Dr. Linda Pagani, the head of the research team, said: 'We found every additional hour of TV exposure among toddlers corresponded to a future decrease in classroom engagement and success at math, increased victimization by classmates, a more sedentary lifestyle, higher consumption of junk food and, ultimately, higher body mass index ...... Between the ages of two and four, even incremental exposure to television delayed development'.

Since TV exposure encourages a sedentary lifestyle, Dr. Pagani says, television viewing must be curbed for toddlers to avoid the maintenance of passive mental and physical habits in later childhood: 'Common sense would have it that TV exposure replaces time that could be spent engaging in other developmentally enriching activities and tasks which foster cognitive, behavioral, and motor development'.

Click here to see the abstract for the research paper. (the full text of the research is not free)

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