They don’t call it the boob tube for nothing: TV viewing time is correlated with changes in the brain, according to a Japanese study of children between the ages of five and 18. The more kids watch, the more gray matter builds up at the front of the frontal lobe. That’s brain flab, wrote researchers in Cerebral Cortex. It’s linked to lower verbal intelligence.
However, it’s not clear that watching TV caused the changes. Heavy TV viewing may crowd out other activities, such as playing, reading or talking with friends and family. Perhaps not-so-bright kids are more likely to become TV addicts.