Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Study: More TV and Web equals more health problems

The impact of media on children's health

The average modern child spends nearly 45 hours a week with television, movies, magazines, music, the Internet, cellphones and video games, a new study reports. By comparison, children spend 17 hours a week with their parents on average and 30 hours a week in school. That's according to a report released Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health and the nonprofit advocacy group Common Sense Media.

In what researchers call the first report of its kind, a review of 173 studies about the effects of media consumption on children asserts that a strong tie exists between greater exposure and adverse health outcomes, such as childhood obesity, tobacco use, and early sexual behavior.

"Media is increasingly pervasive in the lives of children and adolescents," James P. Steyer, Common Sense Media founder and CEO, said in a joint news release. "Parents and educators must consider the effects of media when they're trying to address issues with their child's health. This report makes is clear that we need a bold new agenda on media and technology use. We hope this report will create a new sense of urgency in that regard."

To read an executive summary (PDF) of the report, click here.

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1 comment:

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