A recent report published by Common Sense Media entitled Media and Child and Adolescent Health: A Systematic Review revealed that there is strong correlation between media exposure and long-term harmful effects to children. The report reviewed 173 of the best studies from the last thirty years which examined the connection between the two variables.
[Photo taken from SOURCE.]
The strongest connection was found between the amount of time spent watching the television and childhood obesity. 86% of these studies found a statistically significant relationship between increased media exposure and a rise in childhood obesity. 82% of studies concluded that longer hours of media predicted increased weight over time. A longitudinal study involving 5,493 children revealed that those who spent more than eight hours watching the television per week at age three were significantly more likely to be obese at age seven.
“Media is increasingly pervasive in the lives of children and adolescents. Parents and educators must consider the effects of media when they’re trying to address issues with their child’s health. This report makes it clear that we need a bold new agenda on media and technology use. We hope this report will create a new sense of urgency in that regard.”- James P. Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media
The report also showed that the average modern child spends almost 45 hours a week totally immersed in the television, movies, magazines, music, the Internet, cellphones and video games. According to the study, this is well above the amount of time spent by children with their parents (17 hours a week) as well as in school (30 hours a week).