Watching TV ‘makes toddlers less intelligent’

Independent / NZ Herald May 3, 2010

American paediatricians advise that under-twos should not watch any television and that older children should view one to two hours a day at most. Scientists who tracked the progress of pre-school children found that the more television they watched aged two-and-a-half the worse they were at mathematics, the more junk food they ate, and the more they were bullied by other pupils. The findings, which support earlier evidence indicating television harms cognitive development, prompted calls for the Government to set limits on how much children should watch. American paediatricians advise that under-twos should not watch any television and that older children should view one to two hours a day at most. France has banned shows aimed at under-threes, and Australia recommends that three-to-five-year-olds watch no more than an hour a day. Britain has no official advice. The latest study, published today in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, followed 1314 children born in the Canadian state of Quebec in 1997 and 1998.

…The British psychologist Dr Aric Sigman, who has reviewed 30 scientific papers on TV and computer screen viewing, said that modern television has faster editing, louder sounds and more intensive colours that of the Sixties and Seventies, and thus more dramatically affects young minds.
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