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TV influences people during all ages, but especially during childhood and adolescence. In this study we analyze the TV habits of 87 individuals (49 female and 38 male) from ages between 11 and 16 years old. They belong to two public schools in Seville, between sixth and ninth grade. The instrument employed is the questionnaire we have prepared for this study, which compiles all the relevant information for the subject of our analysis. The variables include: preferred programs, who picks them, the respondents bed time, if they eat while watching TV, who decides the programs, time watching TV, time exercising, time studying and doing homework, how do the consider themselves intellectually, and what is the basis of their opinion. These variables have been correlated with the academic performance. The results show that the students that spend more than four hours a day to watching TV favor sedentarism, diminish physical exercise and school related activities, and end up with a low academic performance. Their TV habits increase with age. We highlight the importance of TV networks making an adequate control that should compete in broadcasting quality programming and should abandon the strategy they have adopted of broadcasting non-cultural programs to attract audience. Also, parents should get more involved, through viewers associations, and create community TV programming forums (as it is already in place in some Regions of Spain) in order to increase the quality of TV content and to review them because, in most cases, children are choosing the programs.
TV, children, physical exercise, obesity and academic performance