Substance abuse does not always come in the form of fine powders, dried herbs, or ferment hops. Equally seductive are the bright lights and blaring sounds of the television. So often it happens that people sit down for their favorite program and do not get back up for hours. They start with the intention of watching one sixty minute show. Then, an advertisement for a new crime drama plays, and they just have to check it out. Not long after, they notice that Turner Classic Movies is playing their favorite childhood film. What they had intended to be an hour becomes five. The dishes never got done, the bills did not get paid, and they have to be up for work in six hours. They decide that they can finish their chores the next day; maybe
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With the quick cut style of programing and frequent commercial breaks, children begin having trouble focusing (Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi). As a result homework, reading, and classroom activities become laborious. ADHD can also elicit many social and professional difficulties. People with ADHD are often perceived as scatterbrained and lazy (White). Consequently, “These same people are then prone to let others determine their self-worth” (White).
Even more obvious than emotional and psychological problems of ADHD; are the physical manifestations of weight gain. Excessive television viewing leads to reduced physical activity and encourages poorer eating habits. "A 1991 study showed that there were an average of 200 junk food ads in four hours of children's Saturday morning cartoons" (Television and Health). A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a high sugar diet is the surest way to obesity. Unfortunately, television is often a catalyst for both.
Eventually, most people realize the negative effects television has had on their lives and would like to change. However, with something like television, it is not always as easy as turning it off forever. Reader's Digest has several suggestions to help curb television usage: Throw away the remote, orient living room furniture so that the television is not the focal point of the room, or even limit the television to after sundown. Perhaps a more hands-on approach would be to participate in one of this