Bedroom Television Bad Influence on Teens

April 7, 2008

Older adolescents who have a television in their bedroom are less physically active, have fewer family meals and a poorer diet compared to their counterparts without a bedroom television, according to a report published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Older adolescents who have a television in their bedroom are less physically active, have fewer family meals and a poorer diet compared to their counterparts without a bedroom television, according to a report published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

Daheia J. Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a study of 781 adolescents with a mean age of 17.2 years who completed a questionnaire that covered sociodemographic, behavioral and personal characteristics.

In all, 62 percent of participants had a bedroom television and 16 percent of these teens reported watching more than five hours of television a day, versus 8 percent of those without a bedroom television, the report indicates. Television viewing among girls and boys with a bedroom television was 20.7 hours and 22.2 hours weekly, respectively, versus 15.2 hours and 18.2 hours weekly, respectively, for those without a bedroom television.

"Adolescents with a bedroom television reported more television viewing time, less physical activity, poorer dietary habits, fewer family meals and poorer school performance," the authors conclude. "Refraining from placing a television in teenagers' rooms may be a first step in helping to decrease screen time and subsequent poor behaviors associated with increased television watching."

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