Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Television Viewing and Health
Barbara A. Dennison & Kristina Laskovski
Television's powerful influence on health and health-related behaviors has become a major health concern, particularly as television viewing has increased. The American population spends more time watching television than it spends in any other activity except sleep, work, and school, averaging more than 4 hours of television per day. Television viewing has been associated with increased aggressive behaviors, violence, lower academic performance, poor body self-image, poor nutrition, increased risk of obesity, and increased substance use and abuse. While recognizing the complexity in determining the causes of these problems, researchers have increasingly examined the role of television, not only as contributing to these problems but as a viable solution for intervention. Both the inactivity of watching television and the content of television programs and commercials adversely affect health. In numerous studies among children and adults, obesity prevalence is associated with daily television viewing, while in longitudinal studies, television viewing patterns predict ...