Indian Journal of Community Medicine

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

The influence of television on urban adolescents of Delhi


Rajesh Gupta, Sanjeev Kumar Rasania, Anita S Acharya 
 Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajesh Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
India




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;39:47-48


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 2020 Apr 1 ];39:47-48
Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2014/39/1/47/126360


Full Text

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}

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}

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

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3Burdette 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.
4Jordan 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.
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