Children and TV: How much is too much?


A new study from the UK says that children's viewing habits do not have any significant behavioural impact. The Medical Research Council studied more than 11,000 primary school pupils by asking their mothers to detail viewing hours, game-playing and general behaviour.

The study found that five-year-olds who play video games had no increased risk of problems. It also found no signs of hyperactivity, emotional or social problems in those who watched three or more hours of TV a day.

But the researchers did measure a 0.13% increase in "conduct" problems, such as bullying and fighting, by the time children reached seven years of age.

The US, Canada and Australia all recommend limiting children's viewing hours - but there are no formal guidelines in the UK.

The BBC's Jon Sopel was joined by Dr Alison Parkes, the study's lead author, and by Jane Gentle from Mumsnet.

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