Mom Was Right: Too Much TV Hurts Your Eyes

Filed under: In The News, TV

watching tv

Step away from the TV. Credit: Getty Images

Scientists remain split on whether or not making goofy expressions will eventually make your face stick "like that," but research backs up something else your mother used to tell you:

Too much TV hurts your eyes.

The Daily Telegraph in London reports children -- some as young as 6 -- who watch too much TV have narrowed arteries behind their eyes. So narrow, in fact, they would spark an "OMG!" if optometrists found them in adults.

And, the Telegraph reports, retinal arterioles (those tiny arteries behind your peepers) often tell of other things going on in your body. Narrower arteries could put kids at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes later in life.

Researchers at Sydney University in Australia found kids who spend most of the day with SpongeBob have narrower arteries than their peers who are frisking and frolicking outdoors. The study involved 1,500 children ages 6 and 7 in 34 primary schools across Sydney.

"We found children with a high level of physical activity had a more beneficial microvascular profile compared to those with the lowest levels of physical activity," lead author Bamini Gopinath tells the Telegraph.

Researchers say children usually spend almost two hours a day in front of a TV or computer screen and just 36 minutes in organized physical activity.

Those who exercised more than an hour or so had much wider retinal arteries than those who spent less than 30 minutes moving their bodies.

"We find that the changes to the arteries are quite representative of what's going on in the rest of the body," Gopinath tells the newspaper. "So the fact these changes are taking place in kids so young is very alarming."

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.