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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-48
 

The influence of television on urban adolescents of Delhi


Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication4-Feb-2014

Correspondence Address:
Rajesh Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.126360

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How to cite this article:
Gupta R, Rasania SK, Acharya AS. The influence of television on urban adolescents of Delhi. Indian J Community Med 2014;39:47-8

How to cite this URL:
Gupta R, Rasania SK, Acharya AS. The influence of television on urban adolescents of Delhi. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2014 [cited 2019 Sep 17];39:47-8. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2014/39/1/47/126360


Sir,

The history of television (TV) can be dated back to early 1960's when TV first came to India by the name of "Doordarshan" commonly named as "DD," the so-called national TV network of India. It became an important means of mass media communication channel because of its unique feature of combining both audio as well as video technology. After around 50 years it has entered each and every home thus, serving as an important medium for disseminating information to its viewers. As it serves multiple functions of providing entertainment, information and education, it has a great influence on children's overall development right from a very early age. [1] On one side it makes children aware of healthy habits, on the other hand, excessive TV watching leads to physical inactivity and consequently increased incidence of obesity. [2] Time spent in watching TV may be utilized in reading, outdoor games, etc. Since, adolescents form the most vulnerable and habit-forming stage of life, the present community based cross-sectional study was done on urban adolescents of Delhi.

The results show that TV was the most preferred medium (98.8%) of leisure time activity among other media such as computer and videogames. TV viewing hours ranged from 30 min to 5 h with a mean duration of 1.92 h/day. Girls spent more time (mean = 1.99 h) on watching TV than boys (mean = 1.86 h). The possible reason might be that girls spend more time at home than boys since they are not allowed to go outside at night, watch TV while doing household chores [Table 1].
Table 1: Relationship of gender and the amount of time spent on TV

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Burdette et al., [3] in their research concluded that children watched TV for a mean of 2.2 ± 1.2 h/day. Such high TV viewing time was also observed by Jordan et al., [4] in which they saw that most of the children reported watching TV approximately 3 h/day.

Our study also shows that, proportion of study subjects who were overweight and obese significantly increases as the TV viewing hours increased to more than 2 h as compared to those who were watching TV less than or equal to 2 h/day [Table 2]. Similar findings were also observed by Goyal et al. [5] Bishwalata et al.[6] and Laxmaiah et al., [7] who concluded that watching TV or playing computer games for more than 2 h/day increased the risk of being overweight or obese. The association between TV viewing and overweight could be due to snacking and physical inactivity during viewing time.
Table 2: Relationship between TV viewing hours/day and nutritional status among study subjects

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From the research findings, it can be recommended that parents should limit the TV viewing time of their children, helping children choose appropriate programs according to their interest and age, and explain the benefits of physical activity.

 
   References Top

1.Nirmala A. The impact of television. Kerala Calling 2004;25:18-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Jones AF. The impact of media on children and youth. Paediatr Child Health 2003;8:301-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Burdette HL, Whitaker RC, Kahn RS, Harvey-Berino J. Association of maternal obesity and depressive symptoms with television-viewing time in low-income preschool children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2003;157:894-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
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4.Jordan AB, Hersey JC, McDivitt JA, Heitzler CD. Reducing children's television-viewing time: A qualitative study of parents and their children. Pediatrics 2006;118:e1303-10.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.Goyal JP, Kumar N, Parmar I, Shah VB, Patel B. Determinants of overweight and obesity in affluent adolescent in Surat City, South Gujarat region, India. Indian J Community Med 2011;36:296-300.  Back to cited text no. 5
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6.Bishwalata R, Singh AB, Singh AJ, Devi LU, Singh RK. Overweight and obesity among schoolchildren in Manipur, India. Natl Med J India 2010;23:263-6.  Back to cited text no. 6
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7.Laxmaiah A, Nagalla B, Vijayaraghavan K, Nair M. Factors affecting prevalence of overweight among 12- to 17-year-old urban adolescents in Hyderabad, India. Obesity (Silver Spring) 2007;15:1384-90.  Back to cited text no. 7
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    Tables

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