The overwhelming majority of the stuff I tell my patients when it comes to staying healthy doesn’t require the letters “M” and “D” after one’s name.
Most of this stuff is basic common sense that the average fifth grader knows. Eat your vegetables, get enough sleep, exercise, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, don’t sleep around with scuzzy strangers, etc., etc., etc.
I’d say probably 95% of what I do as a family physician falls into this category. (Now that other 5% however, well, that’s a different story. That other 5% represents years and years of hard work in medical school and residency and clinical practice experience.)
Anyway, there was an interesting article in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics titled Characteristics Associated With Older Adolescents Who Have a Television in Their Bedrooms.
The conclusions in this article seem to fit very nicely into my 95% “Duh, a fifth grader could tell you that,” category.
Basically, they compared older teenagers who had televisions in their bedrooms with those who did not.
In the words of Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise, surprise!”
What they found was that those with televisions in their bedrooms tended to watch more television, have less physical activity, lousier eating habits, etc.
So parents, here’s a no-brainer for you: Do your kid a favor and get the television out of their bedroom.
Okay, so now here’s an even bigger no-brainer for you. Get the damn boob-tube out of your own bedroom as well.
Want to take it even a step further? Get the darned thing out of your house altogether.
Okay, I realize that may be too big a step for most folks. If it’s too big a step for you, then at least turn it off once in a while and go get some exercise.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that my wife and I do have a television in our living room, but we almost never watch it. We used to have cable service, but we decided to have it disconnected about a year ago. We don’t have any sort of antenna and therefore we have absolutely no channels to watch.
I have to say, I’ve never been happier. We are saving money by not paying a cable bill and our lifestyle is much healthier. We eat better, exercise more, read more, interact with each other more, you name it. We do occasionally rent a movie and watch it, but our television otherwise remains off. We have no intention of ever going back!
I highly recommend this to anyone reading this blog.)