Wednesday, December 3, 2008

TV and Web Harm Kids

I read this article on Reuters the other day: Lots of TV and Web harms kids' health.

Essentially, a bunch of credible institutions compiled data from studies going back to the 80s to the present, and tallied the information. The studies focused the health effects between children and technology/entertainment, specifically television, but also video games, films, music, computers, and internet use. The findings showed consistency that children who consume high amounts of media have poor health, "The studies offered strong evidence that children who get more media exposure are more likely to become obese, start smoking and begin earlier sexual activity than those who spend less time in front of a screen." Some people have drawn the conclusion that it isn't quality but quantity that is the issue. But, what really got me was the Reuters article constructed the issue like this, "Three quarters of them found that increased media viewing was associated with negative health outcomes." I mean, wow. Three quarters of studies say that our chosen field, effective communication and technological mediums cause NEGATIVE health incomes. Yikes! It really makes you wonder the consequences of the messages you're sending out there, as well as the consequences of the absence of the messages you're not sending out there.


Sam said...

Whoa. That is pretty scary!

Thursday said...

I don't think it's necessarily surprising information, though: if a kid is sitting in front of a TV or computer for any length of time, it seems like at the very least they'll have problems with obesity because they aren't moving around as much as kids out in the back yard.

But I would like to see data on what kids consuming less media were doing — it seems like that might be a significant factor.

h. van de mark said...

that would be interesting actually. reports always seem to focus on the overconsumption. it'd be interesting to know the kids who watch a half hour of tv what they're doing the rest of the time, playing outside, doing homework, religious studies, drama, building things, etc. that info could really be used to create campaigns to sway those kids who do over consume technology/media.