Two-year-olds who watch a lot of TV grow up to become 10-year-olds who are fatter than other kids, are bullied more by peers, and are worse at math. That's what scientists found after tracking more 1,300 Canadian children born in the 1990s. "Our findings make a compelling public health argument against excessive viewing in early childhood, the study's head researcher told the Independent.
In the study, parents reported how much TV their kids watched at 29 and 53 months (on average 8.8 and 14.8 hours a week, respectively); at 10, their teachers logged their academic performance and social and health habits. Researchers found that every extra hour watched by two-year-olds translated, at age 10, into a 6% drop in math skills, 10% increase in victimization, and a 5% bump in body mass index (perhaps the result of the fact that they got 9% less exercise and consumed 10% more snacks).