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TV viewing behaviour among preschoolers : implications for public health recommendations

RESEARCHED BY

Daniela Dell'Aquila

Excessive television (TV) viewing in early childhood has been associated with adverse cognitive and behavioural outcomes.[1-3] A recent review of the literature revealed that TV viewing in the formative pre-school years has also been linked with other health concerns including sleep difficulties, increased aggression, anxiety and obesity.[4] Given that early childhood is the time in which the foundations for future behaviours and habits are established and evidence shows that TV behaviours track from early childhood to adolescence,[5] it is not surprising that there has been much interest in determining an ‘appropriate’ amount of screen time for pre-schoolers. The aim of this paper is to review current recommendations around Australian pre-school children’s TV use and the implications of these guidelines when we consider current data pertaining to young children’s TV viewing behaviour.