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First data from massive NIH study shows effects of screen time on kids

A child plays online mobile game.
Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

The first data from a decade-long study of the effects of screen time on more than 11,000 American children by the National Institutes of Health shows that those who spent more than two hours each day on screens scored lower on thinking and language tests, according to a report from CBS' "60 Minutes."

The big picture: In extreme cases, researchers also said that some brain scans of 9- and 10-year-olds who spend more than seven hours a day using electronic devices show a thinning of the brain's cortex, which usually happens later in development. It's worth noting these are early results that have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, so they shouldn't be viewed as definitive. As the NIH's Dr. Gaya Dowling told "60 Minutes," "We don't know if it's being caused by the screen time. We don't know yet if it's a bad thing."

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