TV seen as child health risk


It’s not just TV – computer use factors in as well – but sedentary “screen time” may be contributing to elevated blood pressure among 3-8 year olds, according to a new medical study. But as with many such studies, it can only guess at the full parameters of the screen/child relationship.

One of the more novel findings of the study, conducted by David Martinez-Gomez of Iowa State University in Ames, was that the rise in blood pressure wasn’t tied to sedentary activity in general, just the sedentary screen activities, which is how computer use entered into the equation.

The researchers could note the pressure reaction, but they could only guess in trying to explain it, according to an article in Modern Medicine.

They speculated that it could be something about “isolated inactivity” associated with television viewing; that the high fat, high sugar and salty junk food associated with screen time may be a major factor, or that it may be a combination of such factors.

Note that if the junk food becomes a factor, it will be ammunition to prevent 3-8 televiewing, and to limit or ban food commercials aimed at them.

RBR/TVBR observation: Good parents know well enough that their children’s activities need to be monitored and guided, and TV time is certainly one of the biggest areas where parental intervention is needed. The problem is that many parents are either working long hours, or they are inattentive, tempting the government to step in with a new body of regulation. All we know for sure is that this issue never, ever goes away.