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Study: Too much TV, computer could hurt kids' mental health

New research hints that too much time in front of a television or computer could be bad for a child's mental health. During a U.K. study involving 10- and 11-year olds, children who reported spending more than two hours a day watching TV or using the computer were 61 percent more likely to experience "psychological distress" than children who watched less.

There are limitations with the study - it wasn't a randomized controlled trial, and the findings were based on self-reports from the pre-teens - but the results add to a growing body of evidence on the potential harms of too much TV or computer usage. Thomas Robinson, MD, a pediatrician with Stanford and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, shared his thoughts with Reuters:

Robinson noted that his own related research... found that limiting screen time reduced weight gain, aggression and consumer behaviors in kids.

"There are already lots of reasons to reduce kids' screen time and this is potentially another," said Robinson. "In our studies we find that giving children a screen-time budget and helping them stick to that budget is the most effective way to reduce their television, video game, computer and other screen time, and to improve their health as a result."

Previously: TV watching linked to aggression in tots

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