Teens who have TV in their bedroom are less likely to engage in healthy habits

April 7, 2008

University of Minnesota School of Public Health researchers have found that older adolescents who have a bedroom television are less likely to engage in healthy activities such as exercising, eating fruits or vegetables, and enjoying family meals. They also consumed larger quantities of sweetened beverages and fast food, were categorized as heavy TV watchers, and read or studied less than teens without TVs in their bedrooms.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents remove television sets from their children’s bedrooms. Despite this recommendation, almost two-thirds of our sample had a bedroom TV, which appears to be a factor for less than optimal behavior,” said Daheia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., first author of the study.

A study group of 781 socioeconomically and ethnically diverse teens participating in the School of Public Health Project Eating Among Teens (EAT) study reported on their television viewing habits, study habits, grades, diet, exercise habits, and family connectedness. Nearly two-thirds of the participants had a television in their bedroom or sleeping area, and those who did watched four to five more hours of television each week.

Girls with a TV in their bedrooms spent less time in vigorous activity each week than girls without TVs in their rooms (1.8 versus 2.5 hours). They also ate fewer vegetables (1.7 versus 2 servings per day), and had fewer family meals (2.9 versus 3.7 meals per week). Boys with TVs in their rooms not only had lower fruit intake (1.7 versus 2.2) and fewer family meals (2.9 versus 3.6), they also had a lower grade point average compared with their counterparts with no TVs in the bedroom (2.6 versus 2.9).

Barr-Anderson suggests that the first step parents can take to help their teens decrease unhealthy behaviors is to keep, or remove, a TV from the bedroom of their teen. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Ph.D., principal investigator of Project EAT notes, "Our findings suggest the importance of not having a television in a child's bedroom. When families upgrade their living room television, they may want to resist the temptation to put the older television set in their children's bedroom."

Source: University of Minnesota

Explore further: TV in child's bedroom tied to weight gain

Related Stories

TV in child's bedroom tied to weight gain

March 3, 2014

(HealthDay)—Children who have a TV in their bedroom are likely to gain weight. But kids who play active video games might lose unwanted pounds, according to two new studies.

Sleepy connected Americans

March 7, 2011

The 2011 Sleep in America poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) finds pervasive use of communications technology in the hour before bed. It also finds that a significant number of Americans aren't getting ...

Study: kids watching hours of TV at home daycare

November 23, 2009

In a new study, the amount of television viewed by many young children in child care settings doubles the previous estimates of early childhood screen time, with those in home-based settings watching significantly more on ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Cow embryos reveal new type of chromosome chimera

May 27, 2016

I've often wondered what happens between the time an egg is fertilized and the time the ball of cells that it becomes nestles into the uterine lining. It's a period that we know very little about, a black box of developmental ...

Shaving time to test antidotes for nerve agents

February 29, 2016

Imagine you wanted to know how much energy it took to bike up a mountain, but couldn't finish the ride to the peak yourself. So, to get the total energy required, you and a team of friends strap energy meters to your bikes ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

DGBEACH
not rated yet Apr 07, 2008
My kids will be seeing this article!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.