Children exposed to more TV at about 2 1/2 years old appear to have more social, academic, and health problems by the time they reach grade school.
Linda S. Pagani, PhD, of the University of Montreal and her colleagues studied over 1,300 children whose parents reported how many hours of TV they watched a week. Here's what they discovered when those kids hit fourth grade.
- Television-viewing affects a child's success in school -- they have less confidence and more classroom engagement problems.
- They end up doing worse in math.
- Kids who watched television as toddlers spend less time engaging in physical activity on weekends.
- Toddlers who watch TV eat more snacks and drink more soda as grade-schoolers.
- They have higher body mass indexes (BMIs -- or measures of body fat based on height and weight).
- They're 10 percent more likely to be made fun of or bullied by their classmates.
Does your toddler watch TV? What do you think of the results of the study?