Dear Amy: My parents say I watch too much TV, but I don’t think I do. What’s wrong with watching a lot of TV, anyway? — Shane T., Monterey, California
Dear Shane: While television programming can be both educational and entertaining, watching too much can be harmful to your health. It can keep you from activities such as exercise, and can interfere with schoolwork and family time. Many people also get into the unhealthy habit of snacking while watching television, which can lead to weight gain.
Another reason to limit screen time is that behaviors demonstrated on television do not always depict wise choices. Watching violent or unsafe actions is thought to influence children to try such behaviors. You can learn more about this when you read How TV Affects Your Child, kidshealth.
Watching television can also affect your ability to sleep peacefully. When you watch scenes that are frightening or violent, those images can replay in your mind later while you are dreaming. With this in mind, when you do spend time watching movies or a show, it’s important to watch age-appropriate programs.
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