Device helps fat kids cut screen time, and weight

Reuters 4 March 2008
A monitoring device that cut TV and computer time in half helped young, overweight children eat less and lose weight, US researchers said. And it worked without creating a lot of conflict between parents and their kids, they said. “It reduces all of those battles. The parents have to make one decision. After they make the decision, the device does the rest,” said Leonard Epstein of the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, whose study appears in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine.

…About half of the children had a TV monitoring device attached to their computers and TV sets that gradually reduced their TV time by 50 per cent. Researchers used the TV Allowance device made by Mindmaster Inc. in the study, but such machines are also made by other companies. The children needed to enter an access code to watch TV or play on the computer. When their allowance of screen time was used up, the TV or computer would not work.