Television/Screen Time and Health

Television/Screen Time and Health

TV/Screen Time Obesity Report

There is a positive relationship between obesity and the amount of television a person watches. While the exact reasons and the extent of the problem remain unclear, we must keep this in mind as we discuss the relationship between TV/screen time and the ongoing epidemic of obesity now affecting Minnesota and our nation.

In Fast Forward to Better Health TV/Screen Time Obesity Report: Causes, Consequences and Remedies, we look at what we know and what we don’t about TV/screen time, what we can do based on the information we have, and finally what resources exist to help inform next steps.

Report recommendations at a glance

  • Decrease TV/screen time usage.
  • Do not have televisions in children’s bedrooms.
  • Limit TV/screen time in childcare programs.
  • Limit the amount of high caloric food advertising aimed at children.
  • At community centers and other organizations serving youth, offer any of several proven programs designed to reduce obesity.
  • Create a social marketing campaign to inform the public about the connection between screen time and obesity. 

Other resources

In May 2009, MDH and the National Institute on Media and the Family sponsored the videoconference “TV Viewing and Childhood Obesity: Minnesota Initiative in the Child Care Setting,” gathering experts, health educators and child care professionals to talk about the issue of TV/screen time in the child care setting.

Updated Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10:01AM