29 December 2012 14:41:34
Dr Harish Shetty
A review of 35 academic studies by Dr Aric Sigman of the British Psychological Society has revealed the top 15 ways in which long hours before the telly can affect children’s health as they grow 1 Obesity: a result of little exercise 2 Disrupted hormones: light from televisions suppresses production of the key hormone melatonin 3 Lowered immune system: reduced melatonin may increase the chance of mutations in cell DNA, which causes cancer 4 Premature puberty: also linked to low levels of melatonin 5 Sleep disorders: overstimulating the senses causes sleeplessness 6 Autism: linked to a lack of social interaction 7 Increased body fat: altered levels of the hormones leptin and ghrelin produce fat and boost appetite 8 Poor concentration: development of brain cells governing attention span is impaired 9 Difficulty reading: a result of poor intellectual stimulation while young 10 Type 2 diabetes: from eating high-calorie food while watching television 11 Changes to skin immune cells: waves emitted by sets are linked to changes in skin ‘mast’ cells 12 Increased cholesterol: a result of an inactive childhood 13 Slower metabolism: watching TV may slow metabolism more than simply doing nothing 14 Shortsightedness: staring at a screen can lead to eye damage 15 Alzheimer’s Disease: additional daily hour of viewing increases

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