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Cutting North Dakota Kids “Screen Time” to an Hour

April 7, 2008

Moorhead, MN – By the time they are teenagers, most North Dakota kids spend 20 hours per week in front of a television or computer screen; about one-third log closer to 40 hours a week of "screen time." Researchers say the high screen-time group has shown an increased risk of obesity.

This summer, Concordia College in Moorhead is offering a summer camp to counter that tendency by preventing sedentary habits before the teen years. The goal of the "We Can Camp" is to reduce screen time for kids ages seven through 12, by getting them interested in other, more active pursuits. The camp coordinator, dietitian Vanessa Berg, says there will be lots of things for children to do that don't involve channel-surfing.

"Every day is just going to be filled with activities and short lessons. They're going to cook some of their own snacks, and we're also really focusing on the parents. Our goal is to have children spending no more than an hour a day in front of the TV."

They'll also offer tips for families about breaking the habits of television watching and Internet surfing. The "We Can Camp" runs June 9-13; Berg says up to 200 children can participate. For details on the camp, log onto

Dick Layman/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ND