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Television, Children's Obesity Risk and Mental Well-being: Lessons from the UK Digital Switchover

Adrian Nieto and Marc Suhrcke ()

No 2020-12, LISER Working Paper Series from LISER

Abstract: We examine the effect of screen-based activities on obesity and mental well-being for children, exploiting exogenous variation in the entry date of the digital television transition in the UK. The digital transition increased the number of available free television channels from 5 to 40, leading to an increase in television viewing time. Our results show that one additional year with access to digital television signal increases BMI z-scores by 0.159 standard deviations and the mental health total difficulties score by 2.13% among children. Underlying the net effects appears to be a decrease in physical activity among children, while neither eating habits nor personal views about self-appearance seem to play a signicant role.

Keywords: Television; BMI; Obesity; Mental Health; Well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D60 I10 I31 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 48 pages
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:irs:cepswp:2020-12

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