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Pediatricians Warn TV, Social Media Linked To Obesity, Behavioral Issues

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(Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)

(Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Parents should take concrete steps to limit their children’s use of electronic devices and social media to prevent obesity and other health-related risks, a national pediatrics group said Monday.

KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore reports the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its policy statement from more than a decade ago to adapt to the ever-changing media landscape.

According to a revised policy statement entitled “Children, Adolescents and the Media” released Oct. 28 at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, parents and guardians have to keep a restrictive eye on their children’s use of social media and all the high-tech tools that can affect their emotional growth.

According to the AAP, while media itself is not the leading cause of any health problem in the United States, it can contribute to numerous health risks, including obesity, lack of sleep, school problems, aggression, and other behavior issues.

Dr. Victor Strasburger of the University of New Mexico, the lead author of the AAP’s new policy, said parents should avoid TV time for babies under the age of 2, watching with their child or teenager, and
should limit the amount of entertainment screen time to less than two hours per day.

“They’re more violent, graphically violent, sexual, bad language,” Strasburger said. “Just turn on the TV or go to a movie and you’ll see the difference.”

The policy statement published online Oct. 28 in Pediatrics will be included in the November 2013 issue of the journal. The policy statement replaces one issued in 2001.

A recent study shows that the average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with different media, and older children and teens spend more than 11 hours per day, according to the AAP.

Keeping technology out of kids’ bedrooms is another effective means of limiting media exposure, according to the study.

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