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ImageI am armed; lethally so, by this Harvard research study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Why? Because I'm quite sure I'm not the only mother of a pig-headed eight-year old who believes the world is just an extension of the television. By television here, I obviously mean Cartoon Network, Pogo, Hangama, Nickledeon, Disney and the works. And, the totally teeth-gritting, blood-boiling slew of annoying Asian language "cartoons" that hold these kids' in rapt attention -- oblivious to polite requests, orders, reprimands or any other fatalities around the house.

Scientific, biological, religious threats fall flat before the power of Ninja Hatori, Doraemon, Ben Ten, Nobita and the combined lot!

I have even tried it from the 'fashion' perspective. You know, for a eight-year old discovering "good looks" and understanding what "cute", "pretty", "beautiful" means, the threat of having to adorn thick, black specs, I presumed would be earth-shattering if not scary; to no avail.

So now the Tata Sky's been disconnected. It means I don't get to watch Arnab screaming or Sagarika's hideous outfits, nor do I enjoy vicarious pleasures from Castle's chemistry with Heat but I was never a TV addict so don't miss anything.

But if I were to believe the study, I may have just gifted my baby with a longer life, free of diabetes, possibly a lower risk of a heart disease and premature death! Here's what the study says: Harvard researchers reviewed eight studies and found that for each two hours of TV watching a day, the risk of Type 2 diabetes goes up by 20 per cent, the risk of heart disease goes up by 15 per cent and the risk of premature death goes up by 13 per cent.

More importantly, Monster Mom that I am, I'm going to just use this study to scare the sh*t out of her, next time she demands TV time.

The Little Imp, strangely, doesn't seem too upset, nor is she suffering from withdrawal symptoms of her favourite channels. Instead of being deterred, she's turned to movies! So now it's endless viewing of Charlie and the Chocolate factory, Mary Poppins, Ratatouille and the likes everyday, which I don't mind at all. But wait! She's still watching it on TV. So does that qualify as well for the health threats mentioned in the study?

I need more clarity on such studies. What then are the options for audio-visual learners like my Little Imp?

By Priyadarshini Basu