To investigate the effects of television (TV) viewing on children, 4876 questionnaires on viewing habits completed by Greek children with the assistance of their parents were analysed. The most important results are summarized below. The mean time spent watching TV ranged from 21-32 h per week. The age when children started watching TV correlated with their later educational achievement: good students started watching TV earlier. Bad students, however, watched more TV, as did children from urban areas, and from lower socioeconomic groups. Children from households with more than one TV (especially if it was in the child's bedroom) also watched more. Children who watched more TV were less compliant with TV restrictions and more likely to imitate TV characters. Eating while watching TV was associated with obesity only in teenagers. Most children watched TV from appropriate distances, with the lights on, and with the sound at medium volume.
Conclusion: This study of TV viewing habits in Greek children shows that certain patterns of watching TV may contribute to poor educational achievement, and obesity, in paediatric patients and, therefore, supports the idea of taking "televiewing histories" when treating these patients.