Limit child TV viewing to an hour each day, study urges

The study followed about 1,000 people from the age of three into adulthood, and found that those who had consistently spent more than two hours a day watching TV between the ages of five and 15 were at increased risk of being overweight, having high cholesterol, and poor cardiovascular fitness. —James MeikleLimit child TV viewing to an hour each day, study urges  (Guardian)

This is a news story based on an academic publication, so I’d need to read the whole study in order to answer the questions that pop into my head.

We don’t get cable, and my kids watch almost no broadcast TV — it’s all videos. My sister or in-laws will fill up a whole tape with “Between the Lions” or “Zaboomafoo” off of PBS, and send it to us for presents.

When Peter was small, we carefully rationed his TV to about a half hour a day, but Carolyn has a huge library of videos available to her whenever she asks. Whenever she asks for a video, I will try to get her to sit to read one or two books first, and often she’ll forget about her demand for the TV and ask for another book.

Sometimes I show her home movies… does that count as TV?

Peter watches less TV than Carolyn, but he’s playing computer games instead (mostly educational).

My wife kept maxing her library card out, so she got a card at a different library, too.

(BTW, the library cards are mostly maxed out with books — we have a corner of the living room that we set up like a bookstore, with the newest books cover-out, not spine-out, so the kids will pick them up when they’re bored.)