Mail Online (UK) 11th September 2010
It may sound shocking but, rest assured, far from being a Luddite, I am enjoying my brand-new iMac and we own a television set. However, I stopped my three youngest children watching TV before the age of three. Let me explain why… Over the past ten years I have been collating data and my discoveries have troubled me greatly – both as a biologist and as a parent.
Last month, I presented my findings to MEPs in Brussels. My message was unequivocal. There needs to be a recommended daily allowance for screen time as we have with salt and fat, or we risk harming our children when at their most vulnerable. Indeed, in 2008 the French government outlawed programming aimed at children under three. Research suggests it is not what you watch, it is what age you start and how long you watch for that has a detrimental effect. In many ways Teletubbies, or any other educational programme for children, could be as physiologically damaging as a violent video game.