Bedroom TV sets a bad idea for teens

By Tom Nordlie • Published: July 24th, 2008
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Attention parents: Want to reduce the chances your teenagers will be unhealthy underachievers?

Don’t put television sets in their bedrooms.

That’s according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

It showed that teens with bedroom T-Vs exercised less, ate worse, spent less time with family and got lower grades, compared with peers who didn’t have their own sets.

They also watched more television.

Today, two-thirds of American youth have T-Vs in their bedrooms.

So these findings aren’t just academic trivia.

They should be a wake-up call to millions of parents.

In the study, researchers queried almost eight-hundred Minnesota high-school students, with an average age of about seventeen.

The participants answered questions about their diets, activities, families, grades and demographic features.

Sixty-two percent of them reported having T-V sets in their bedrooms.

Sixteen percent of the teens with their own sets watched T-V more than five hours a day. Only eight percent of the other group watched that much.

Girls with their own T-Vs spent less time doing vigorous exercise and consumed fewer vegetables but more sweetened beverages.

Boys with bedroom T-Vs ate less fruit and had lower grade-point averages.

Television-equipped teens also ate fewer meals with their families.

So when it’s time to buy a new T-V, maybe the old one should go to the thrift store, not to Junior’s room.

Because when he has to share the remote with mom, dad and sis, Junior just might decide he’d rather be doing homework.