Too much media use damages children's health, resulting in higher risk of obesity, tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, and sexual activity.
A new study reveals what good parents already know. Too much media exposure can adversely affect a child’s health. Not only is it important to monitor what children watch and what games they play, but also how many hours a day they interact with media.
Barack Obama has been urging the American people to turn off the television and video games and spend more time with their children. Children spend an average of more than seven hours a day with electronic media, making them a powerful influence on their values and assumptions about life.
Negative Effects of Media Use on Children’s Health Overall, 80% of the studies showed that the more hours children spend interacting with media, the more likely they are to develop negative health issues.
The strongest link was found between television viewing and obesity. 96% of the studies showed the more hours children watch television each week, the more likely they will become overweight. Common sense denotes that inactivity, combined with junk food consumption driven by advertisements, will create an obesity problem.
Fourteen studies addressed media use and sexual activity. Thirteen of these, or 93%, showed that more media exposure increases the likelihood of a child engaging in risky sexual behavior. A strong correlation was also found between media use and drug or alcohol abuse, low academic achievement, and attention deficit hyperactivity behavior. On the flip side, the study revealed that the fewer hours spent on television each week, the more likely a child would earn a bachelor’s degree by age 26.
One Positive Result Not all the results were negative. According to the executive summary, one study revealed a positive correlation between academic achievement and a certain type of website. Which type of website was not specified.
Implications of the Research The results...