Childhood Obesity and TV Watching connection
Childhood obesity is alarming sign in today’s world. Majority of the parents are worried about the habit of their children spending number of hours in front of TV watching various programs.
Watching TV for longer period (3-5 hours) a day has much adverse effect on the physical and mental health of the children. Watching TV for longer time is one of the major factors contributing to childhood obesity.
Excessive TV watching on the part of children can have following effects on their health.
Physical Impact of TV watching
1. TV watching makes them inactive and sedentary. Such tendency at the childhood would harm them in future life.
2. Continuous TV watching also adversely affects their eye sight. They can easily develop problems relating to their eye sight.
3. They tend to eat more junk food while watching TV programs, further increasing their weight and inactivity.
4. They do not find enough time for other essential activities like exercise, sports, which makes them unfit in many respect. They rather need to spend more time on grounds, in open air, in games and exercises in groups and also alone.
5. Many a times they are so engrossed with the themes on the idiot box i.e. TV that they just forget to eat, or neglect to eat, creating other problems relating to diet.
Mental effects of TV watching
1. Children become more violent by viewing various television shows.
2. Children also wrongly try to relate real life with the life shown on TV shows. It builds in their mind wrong notions and misconceptions.
3. They develop the habit of sitting alone and watching some games, or violent films or cartoons on TV. Thus they get cut from the groups and group activity. They cannot easily mix with the children of their own age and play with them.
4. Continuous watching TV also develops some complexes in their mind. They fail to relate to reality of life and get frightened, or unnecessarily become angry and easily loose the balance of mind.
5. It adversely affects their mental faculties and capacities. Such students are poor in study at their schools. They cannot concentrate, grasp and also reproduce the things learnt.
6. Watching TV programs for number of hours also inculcates wrong behavior in children. They try to imitate some wrong ideals shown in TV serials. They start using vulgar or abusive language, they develop unfair feelings of hatred, revenge etc. from the childhood.
Parents need to regulate the TV watching of the children in following manner.
1. They should personally limit the TV watching and set an example for children to follow.
2. Allow maximum 2 hours in a day – after selecting the programs of their choice.
3. Further have one or two days completely off for TV shows in a week.
4. Avoid snacking during TV watching.
5. Regulate the daily exercise and play on ground for the children.
6. Do not allow the TV programs clash their exercise, play and study.
7. Give warning to children that permission to watch TV programs will be subject to their performance in School Examinations and Marks obtained by them.