Health & Spirit

Give TVs a timeout from your kids' bedroom

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In the 2008 movie "Step Brothers," John C. Reilly and Will Ferrell play lazy grown men (Brennan and Dale) who live with their parents and refuse to get jobs. Dale's father, Robert, finally yells: "All right, that's it! You two guys leave me no choice. No television for a week!" In an otherwise not-so-funny movie, that's a pretty funny line.

Know what else isn't so funny? The fact that, according to a 2014 study published in JAMA Pediatrics, 59 percent of kids age 10 to 14 have a TV in their bedroom -- and no one is telling them not to watch or even what to watch! The consequences are far-reaching, affecting kids' health and happiness today and tomorrow.

First: The researchers in that JAMA study concluded that there was "persuasive evidence" that having a television in the bedroom was related to adolescent weight gain, one reason 31.7 percent of kids ages 10-17 are overweight or obese.

Second: A new study published in Developmental Psychology found that children who have a TV or video game system in their room are watching and playing more violent, aggressive shows and games and spending less time reading and sleeping. Bad for school performance, social interaction and mood!

We think it's important to remove the TV from your child's room. And at bedtime, clear out tablets, phones and computers. As for TV time, limit it to one to two hours a day, and keep your eye on what the kids watch, making sure it's appropriate for their age and temperament.


Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2017 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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