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TV in the Bedroom Is Not a Teen's Best Friend
Date:4/7/2008

Personal sets interfere with family time, grades and nutrition, study finds ,,,,

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Although your teenager may poignantly plead that he or she is the only child left in America without a bedroom television, health experts recommend that parents stand their ground and keep TV out of the bedroom.

There seems to be a good reason for this. The latest research, published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, shows that having a bedroom television not only leads to more TV viewing, but also results in less time spent with the family, less time exercising, lower fruit and vegetable intake, more sweetened beverage consumption, and in lower grades.

"The big take-home message from our study is that TVs should be removed from kids' bedrooms, and it could have a positive effect on kids' health," said the study's lead author, Daheia Barr-Anderson, a postdoctoral fellow at the Adolescent Health Protection Research Training Program at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis.

Health professionals have been warning for years about too much television watching among young people, and especially about making the TV set so easily accessible. But past research suggests that many parents aren't heeding that advice. About 68 percent of American youngsters have televisions in their bedrooms, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

One large study found that children between ages 8 and 18 spend more than three hours every day watching television. Numerous studies have been done to assess TV's effect on young children, but research on bedroom TVs and older adolescents is scarce, according to the current study.

Barr-Anderson and her colleagues gathered information on the presence of a bedroom TV and socio-demographic, behavioral and personal characteristics through a questionnaire mailed to 781 teens who were an average age of
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