TV Watching and Computer Use in U.S. Youth Aged 12–15, 2012

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Author(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

  • Kirsten A. Herrick, Ph.D., M.Sc.
  • Tala H.I. Fakhouri, Ph.D., M.P.H.
  • Susan A. Carlson, Ph.D.
  • Janet E. Fulton, Ph.D

Published: July 2014

Report Intro/Brief:

  • Nearly all (98.5%) youth aged 12–15 reported watching TV daily.
  • More than 9 in 10 (91.1%) youth aged 12–15 reported using the computer daily outside of school.
  • In 2012, 27.0% of youth aged 12–15 had 2 hours or less of TV plus computer use daily.
  • Among youth aged 12–15, girls (80.4%) were more likely to use the computer 2 hours or less daily when compared with boys (69.4%).
  • Fewer non-Hispanic black youth aged 12–15 (53.4%) reported watching 2 hours or less of TV daily than non-Hispanic white (65.8%) and Hispanic (68.7%) youth.

Excessive screen-time behaviors, such as using a computer and watching TV, for more than 2 hours daily have been linked with elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol, and being overweight or obese among youth. Additionally, screen-time behavior established in adolescence has been shown to track into adulthood. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute-supported Expert Panel and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children limit leisure screen time to 2 hours or less daily. This report presents national estimates of TV watching and computer use outside of the school day.”


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