Children who watch more than two hours of television every day, according to scientists, are more likely to develop addictions as adults, including those to alcohol, drugs, gambling, and cigarettes.
According to one study, children aged five to fifteen who spend more time attached to their screens are 29% more likely to develop a gambling addiction as adults.
Furthermore, smoking addiction was 20% more likely in this group of youngsters.
They were also more likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who spent less time in front of screens.
According to New Zealand researchers, excessive TV viewing may be a precursor to a child developing an addiction.
As a result, people stated they are more prone to develop further addictions later in life.
According to the study, persons who suffer from anxiety disorders and have lower levels of the pleasurable hormone dopamine are more likely to develop addiction difficulties.
According to another study, children’s screen time has increased dramatically since the Covid outbreak.
According to Ofcom data, teenagers and those under 35 watched four hours of TV each day on average in 2020, with an additional hour spent watching YouTube videos.
“Similar initiatives may be used to promote safe screen use,” said lead author and University of Otago professor Bob Hancox. “Public health groups have made major efforts to promote safer sexual practices and alcohol consumption.”
The UK government advises against allowing youngsters under the age of five to spend more than an hour a day on screens.
According to several health professionals, children aged five to 17 should restrict their daily screen use to two hours.
Prof. Hancox and his colleagues studied 1,000 children’s health records between 1972 and 1973, and their findings were published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.
The children were called again every two years between the ages of three and fifteen for assessments to monitor their TV viewing patterns.
Between 15 and 45 persons were checked every two to three years to screen for four potential addictions.
Researchers discovered that 612 out of 1,000 people (62%) watched more TV than the daily amount recommended in New Zealand (two hours).
According to the data, 37% of respondents were diagnosed with an alcohol addiction disorder.
A third of the population (36%) had a cigarette use issue, whereas 18% had a cannabis use disorder.