I just read a compelling article in The Oregonian, a newspaper that still arrives in my driveway each day. The article is about television (a big surprise), and it doesn’t pull any punches. Here’s the first paragraph:
“A potentially dangerous substance found in nearly every Oregon home—and many day care centers—threatens thousands of Oregon kids with a life plagued by heart disease, cancer or diabetes.”
The article goes on to mention the research about the effects of television on children, which include an increased chance of becoming overweight, performing poorly in school, having sleep problems, bullying other kids and developing attention deficit disorder.
Apparently, even alcohol use and smoking are correlated with watching too much television. According to the article, kids who watch at least four hours of TV a day are 524 percent as likely to smoke as kids who watch less than two hours.
As Thanksgiving draws near, I hope the message in this Oregonian article will motivate more parents to turn off the television during the holidays, especially if they have small children. Without hours and hours of televised sports in the background, families might even have more fun on Thanksgiving. They might decide to watch less television next year, too. That would indeed be a blessing (even for die-hard sports fanatics, who could throw the ball around outside for a change).