Too Much Screen Time Does Affect Your Child’s Health – Three Effective Actions to Take

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As an chubby little one, I skilled dwelling within the shadows-the shadows of my “mates” selecting sides on the playground for basketball video games, and by no means choosing me. The shadows behind the opened health club locker doorways the place women would snicker and boys would make impolite feedback. The shadow aspect of myself-never permitting my mild to shine-who would wish to name consideration to this mass of flesh? The emotional ache of being the “fats lady” far outweighed my bodily limitations.

But by highschool I had grown tall, misplaced child fats and performed on the women basketball workforce pretty proficiently. The boys nonetheless make impolite feedback about my body-but now they have been of a distinct nature. I used to be at a standard weight, feeling energetic and wholesome. For some time at the least.

Adulthood introduced again the battle of the bulge. And ushered in a depth of bodily ache and discomfort I’m not positive how I obtained by means of as I look again on these years. Two a long time of significant diseases adopted the start of my sons. Healing took a lot of centered consideration, competing for time with my treasured boys, and naturally therapeutic and restoration time with various therapies as a result of conventional strategies weren’t working-what was unsuitable with me? Quite a bit. Gallbladder problems-it needed to be eliminated. Liver issues; poor digestion; insulin resistance. Childhood weight problems does enhance the chance for grownup well being issues. I do know this first-hand.

My mom confirmed she liked her children by feeding them too many Polish and Italian wealthy meals; too many desserts. But we all the time performed for hours outside-by day strolling within the woods gathering leaves, twigs, flowers to make issues with; by night operating wildly catching fireflies in the summertime or taking part in tag after dinner on faculty nights. We went outdoors, rain or shine, regardless of how chilly or scorching, there was all the time a while shifting within the yard even when was solely 5 minutes to throw dry bread to sparrows on the lookout for meals within the 5 toes of an surprising spring snowstorm. I’m so grateful now that train was in my childhood equation. As an grownup, I do not detest bodily motion like a lot of my mates do. I look ahead to it. It’s what saved me.

Through my very own tenacity and the great fortune to seek out the suitable well being care suppliers I’m now blessed with nice well being. Although I’ll by no means be a measurement 8, I can at the least stroll/jog two-three miles day by day, elevate weights, do Yoga and Pilates and go on the occasional five-mile hike. I may even bend down and contact my toes, one thing some kindergartners cannot even do.

That is true. I used to be shocked when a colleague not too long ago informed me that 22 of her 27 kindergartners couldn’t contact their toes. Imagine little 5 year-old our bodies struggling and failing to do that easy act. Tragic.

Many of right this moment’s kids have an excessive amount of of the unsuitable meals as an element for his or her out-of shape-condition-fast meals filled with energy and missing diet is one distressing instance. But one other vital issue within the present alarming rise of childhood weight problems is the time children spend sitting in entrance of a TV, online game or pc. They will not be shifting sufficient all through their day.

The common trendy little one spends almost 53 hours every week with tv, motion pictures, the Internet, cell telephones and video video games. By comparability, kids spend 17 hours every week with their mother and father on common and 30 hours every week in class. (1)

Probing childhood weight problems, researchers discovered that in 173 research over the previous three a long time, 86% discovered a statistically vital relationship between elevated media publicity and a rise in childhood weight problems. 82% of the research concluded that extra hours of media predicted elevated weight over time. A longitudinal research of 5,493 kids reported that those that spent greater than eight hours watching TV per week at age three have been considerably extra prone to be overweight at age seven.

Another vital research confirmed {that a} substantial p.c (virtually 36%) of US preschool kids exceeded the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggestion to restrict media time to 2 hours or much less per day. (Please notice: I imagine the AAP ought to have a stronger suggestion for preschoolers by stating not more than half-hour day by day of TV/DVD/pc use.) The research concluded that interventions to forestall and deal with weight problems in preschool kids by decreasing TV/video viewing are warranted. (3)

Yet, by age 12 months, the common child is watching tv about one hour per day, regardless of the AAP suggestion of no display screen time earlier than age 2.

All of that is sobering information. Yet, there may be hope on the horizon if mother and father take this data to coronary heart. The day by day determination mother and father make every day start so as to add up on the aspect of a lot of positives for youngsters’s optimum well being when display screen time is decreased and different acceptable actions are elevated.

Making a change, even a small step in the appropriate route goes an extended strategy to bettering kids’s properly being and their future grownup well being, as properly.

Parents: Begin Today to Reduce Screen Time and Do More of:

1. Eating collectively as a household.

Kids make more healthy meals selections after they eat with mother or dad! One analysis research even demonstrated that households who eat dinner along with the tv off eat extra vegatables and fruits than those that eat individually or eat a household dinner with the tv on. (7)

2. Exercising collectively as a household.

Family bike rides, hikes, walks in a neighborhood park or different motion actions not solely assist the kid’s or teen’s wants for motion but in addition present highly effective fashions for valuing train as an integral a part of day by day life.

3. Giving your little one/teen alternatives to train.

Perhaps it isn’t secure for the youngsters to go outdoors by themselves? Jumping rope within the storage, bouncing on an previous re-bounder or capturing hoops proper outdoors the kitchen window with the lights on are methods to assume “out of the concern field,” protecting children secure and on the similar time encouraging motion. But additionally give kids and youths time outdoors as you possibly can. An amazing place to get good concepts is Green Hour dot org. Sponsored by the Wildlife Foundation, this website is described as “the mother and father’ place for nature, play, and studying” with a lot of terrific concepts for household outside actions. Yes, we are able to use screen-machines and display screen time within the service of our kids’s optimum health–if finished sparingly and correctly.

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano, 2010. All Rights Reserved.



1. Media and Child and Adolescent Health: A Systematic Review, Conducted by Yale University School of Medicine and National Institutes of Health and California Pacific Medical Center, November 2008.

2. Ibid.

3. “Television viewing, pc use, weight problems, and adiposity in US preschool kids,” Jason A Mendoza1, Fred J Zimmerman, and Dimitri A Christakis,

International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, September 25 2007. material/4/1/44

Copyright, Gloria DeGaetano, 2010. All Rights Reserved.

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