Wider Education, Other Facets

The subject has been the combination of TV noise with sleep, and how it might affect the young, especially small children and first-year college students. Even if researchers cannot put their collective finger on exactly how the causation happens, a lot of them are very certain about the detrimental effects of sleeping with TV noise.

But a skeptic might say, “Maybe, what some young people find stressful is a lack of noise.” If they were raised with the constant racket, maybe they are genuinely uncomfortable without it. This could be true even if some kinds of noise, like the soundtracks of violent movies, are harmful in other ways. A study of 12,000 British kids yielded astonishing figures and outcomes:

Scientists found more than half the children had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven… Later, when the children were 11, researchers plotted their body mass index (a ratio of height and weight) and looked at the percentage of body fat.

Girls who had TVs in their bedrooms at the age of seven were 30% more likely to be overweight when they were 11, compared to children who did not have TVs in their bedrooms. For boys, the risk was increased by about 20%.

That was about noise commingled with sleep. What about just plain loud noise, voluntarily experienced? What does it do to people’s food appetites?

Researcher Dipayan Biswas conducted a study of noise in restaurants and concluded, “If ambient music played in a restaurant is louder, the customers are more susceptible to choose unhealthful foods.” Restaurant owners have always known that music creates an atmosphere.

But what atmosphere? Loud music, apparently, creates one of devil-may-care insouciance. It is, however, good business. When subjected to excess decibels, restaurant patrons not only order less healthful dishes, but their choices also tend to be from the pricier end of the menu.

Chef Alex McCoy told journalist Maura Judkis that music creates a vibe. “Your body starts tingling,” he said, “You want to buy things, you want to eat, you want to meet people.” This is exactly why exposure to loud music is also an occupational hazard for college students.

… Or is it?

Maybe college kids worry about weight more than they need to. Of course, the absence of extra body fat is desirable purely for health reasons. But at least one study found that, where the brand new college student’s love life is concerned, a few extra pounds might not be such a big deal.

A 2020 study admits to limitations in its scope of execution, and includes a whole lot or ifs, ands, or buts. Overall, students did not feel that weight discrimination was involved in forming or ending relationships. But it seems that belief was held more by students who had satisfactorily found relationships, and less by students who were not dating. While some were caught in “He/she isn’t interested, because I’m fat,” others were in the more satisfactory frame of mind, “He/she is interested even though I’m fat.”

It was also suggested that if students are actively working on fitness and weight loss, they may be too focused on that effort to worry about coupling up right away. In another scenario, some students, more concerned with psychologically “finding themselves,” intentionally choose to avoid couple relationships.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “TVs in children’s bedrooms ‘increase risk of obesity,” BBC.com, 06/02/17
Source: “Loud music at restaurants could be leading you to order burgers over salads, study says,” WashingtonPost.com, 05/29/18
Source: “Young adults’ BMI and changes in romantic relationship status during the first semester of college,” NIH.gov, 03/26/20
Image by Jay Roc/Public Domain


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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

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OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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