"Trash Your TV, and Live a Happier, Healthier and Less Stressful Life," says Single Mother of Three.

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A Single mother of three has launched a new website with the ambitious goal of convincing people to trash their TV'sÂ?or at least make a serious commitment to reducing their viewing hours.

A Single mother of three has launched a new website with the ambitious goal of convincing people to trash their TV's — or at least make a serious commitment to reducing their viewing hours.

TrashYourTV.com is the brainchild of Katherine Westphal, a single mother of three, who has been living a TV-free life since October 2003. Katherine decided to get rid of the family TV after suspecting it was adversely affecting the behavior of her children, which had remarkably improved during a difficult period when they were made homeless in 2001 and had no access to a television set.

Katherine says: "I did not originally associate the children's improved behavior with a lack of television. At first I assumed it was just the stress of the situation that brought us together as a family. When we settled down again after a couple of months, we got our TV back. Their behavior deteriorated once again. So I began to question: What was the cause of this? Could the TV be responsible for their increased bickering and abstinence?"

Katherine then put her theory to the test by cutting down her children's viewing hours before finally getting rid of the TV altogether. Since then she's seen an amazing improvement in not only her children's behavior, but in her family life in general.

"Since I got rid of the TV we are much closer as a family. That's the most important improvement. The kids also play more in general—outside with friends, with each other, and with their toys. My two-year-old has just learned most of the alphabet. George, my four-year-old, had problems with speech development at that age, and he used to love television."

Katherine then began to researching the effects of TV and was horrified by what she learnt. "Most people think TV is harmless, but my research has shown that nothing could be further from the truth. If everyone knew how harmful watching TV can be, I am convinced that most people would seriously consider trashing it. They certainly wouldn't continue watching it for over four hours a day (the national average)."

Some of television's negative effects include:

Obesity - Studies have shown that people who watch 3 or more hours of television per day are twice as likely to be obese as someone who watches less than an hour.

Nag Factor - The average child watches approximately 40,000 tv commercials every year. The advertising industry is well aware of how to target young children so they nag their parents incessantly to purchase unnecessary products. This 'Nag Factor' alone is used to influence an estimated $300 billion in sales annually.

Aggression - By the age of 18 the average child has witnessed over 16,000 murders on their TV set. According to a 32-year study, watching television violence at age 8 was the strongest predictor of aggression later in life.

Addiction - In January 2004, Scientific American came out with some astonishing news: Television is addictive! Why else would we trade our family time, our health, and our hard earned money for something that humanity has survived without for thousands of years?

After learning about the harmful effects of TV, and seeing for herself the benefits of living a TV-free life, Katherine now feels it's important to take her message to a wider audience. She says, "This web site has the potential to make a strong, positive impact on many people's lives."

The TrashYourTV.com website has a wide variety of features including information on the negative impact of television; a quiz which tests TV addiction; tips on cutting down family viewing hours; a detailed list of alternatives to television; a success page for those who have given up TV; and a discussion forum.

To find out more information visit http://www.Trashyourtv.com

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Katherine Westphal

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