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What are the adverse effects of watching television?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - May 2014
May 2014
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Question
what is the worst thing too much tv can do to your brain. and how much tv would it take for the worst to happen.
Posted Fri, 22 Nov 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Many scientific studies have been done on the adverse effects of watching television in adult and child populations. Some of the areas discussed in regard to the ways in which watching television can affect us are as following 1. Program content in television includes a lot of sex, violence and drugs. This could create a false perception about glorifying negative behaviour. This may alter the learned behaviour in our brains ans have a negative impact. 2. Studies show that watching television cause memory and attention related problems. A lot of our attention and memory areas in our brain get occupied and used up by these insignificant visual and audio memories allowing lesser resources for important ones. This leads to decreased intellectual development. 3. Watching television also hugely decreases interactions between individuals and within a society. It eats up a lot of time that may be used in activities which can promote the all round growth of adults and children. 4. Research done at Queensland, Australia says that watching television can be equated with activities like lack of physical activity, smoking and obesity. They say that in a population who watch more than 6 hours of television each day, can expect to live 4.8 years less that a population which does not involve in television watching. Hope your query is answered. Do write back should you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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Follow-up: What are the adverse effects of watching television? 53 minutes later
how bad memory and attention related problems and how much of a decrease in intellectual development? i wont go into much detail but to put it simply tv saved me from a bad childhood and i watch a lot and i'd bet more than most. so im worried how bad i may have screwed my brain.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 7 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing back with an update. Television watching in children is associated with obesity, attention problems, reduced scholastic performance and also in certain cases abnormal social behavior which may include participating in high risk activities and promiscuity. Children are exposed to various types of programs which may not be suitable to their viewership. In most homes, television watching is supervised by parents but families do exist where the nature of programs viewed by the children remains controversial. There is a research done on children viewing television and IQ. The relationships between television viewing behavior and school achievement were examined in a sample of fifth through eighth grade children. Results suggest that in this sample: a) children whose parents set rules for watching television did better in school and had higher I.Q.'s than other children; b) amounts of viewing of all types of shows were highly correlated, with the exception of sports viewing; c) more television watching was associated with lower grades in reading and lower I.Q.'s; and d) higher math grades were associated with a preference for sports, family, game, and cartoon shows. Hope your query is answered. Do write back should you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: What are the adverse effects of watching television? 1 hour later
how much memory problems, how much of a decrease in intellectual development? can a cure if someone watched 4-6 hours a day for 4 years then 8-12 hours a day for 9 years.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 17 hours later
Brief Answer: Please find detailed answer below Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for writing back with an update. A latest new 26-year study which researched television viewing in kids from birth up until the age 26 has concluded that the normal television viewing duration should not be more than 1 to 2 hours per day. It also says that time spent watching television in childhood and adolescence was associated with poor educational achievement by young adulthood. These associations cannot be explained by the Study member’s IQ, socioeconomic status, or childhood behavioral problems. The memory problems and decrease in intellectual development are not measurable because it depends on the IQ of the child, types of programs watched and other activities in which the child is occupied. However the IQ decrease is not more that 10 - 20 units. Coming to your specific query, there is no cure but you can still train your brain into effectively by doing memory enhancing exercises and trying to learn new activities which will help you for your future. You can start mind relaxation exercises like meditation. Hope your query is answered. Do write back should you have any doubts. Regards, Dr.Vivek
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