Kids may be spending too much time in front of computers and television, but are interventions designed to curb that working? An analysis of several reports finds that some do, but improvements may be needed.
A meta-analysis of 47 studies targeting intervention programs to curb screen time among children younger than 12 found that 29 showed programs were successful at getting kids away from the television, computer and video games.
The interventions ran the gamut and included programs based in schools, at home, in communities and in clinics and WIC centers. Some involved education, exercise, monitoring or incentives.
What worked best? Interventions that set definite goals for less use of screen-based media or TV watching, ones that used monitoring devices, that had contingent feedback programs, offered clinic-based counseling, had a lot of parental participation, and/or included overweight or obese study participants.