TV in Teens' Bedrooms May Spell Trouble

Teens With a TV in Their Bedroom May Have Worse Eating Habits, Worse Grades, Study Shows

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on April 04, 2008
From the WebMD Archives

April 7, 2008 -- Having a TV in the bedroom may go hand-in-hand with some risky traits for teens.

That's according to a new study of 781 adolescents in 31 Minnesota junior and senior high schools.

Nearly two-thirds of the students -- 62% -- had a TV in their bedroom, according to surveys the students completed during the 1998-1999 and 2003-2004 school years.

Teens with a TV in their bedroom ate fruits and vegetables less often, ate fewer meals with their family, and were twice as likely to watch at least five daily hours of TV.

Among girls, those with a TV in their bedroom drank more sweetened drinks and spent less time engaged in vigorous physical activity than those without a bedroom TV. And among boys, having a bedroom TV was linked to lower grades.

The study, published in April's edition of Pediatrics, doesn't prove that having a bedroom TV caused those patterns.

But the University of Minnesota's Daheia Barr-Anderson, PhD, and colleagues note that their study supports the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation not to give teens a bedroom TV.