Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Old Warning New

Reuters has an article published today warning parents that "Childhood TV Viewing Can Cause Teenage Problems". Is this really new news? Too much TV is bad, especially at a young age. We have heard this for years, and saw this not too long ago in the whole Baby Einstein drama.

The article was spurred by a long-term study from New Zealand released recently in Pediatrics. The main finding is explained by the author Carl Landhuis of the University of Otago,

"Those who watched more than two hours, and particularly those who watched more than three hours, of television per day during childhood had above-average symptoms of attention problems in adolescence... This suggests that the effects of childhood viewing on attention may be long lasting"

However, the author goes back and comments that his study is not proof that TV watching causes attention problems because children prone to attention problems may be drawn to watching television in the first place.

So what is the conclusion then? Those children drawn to TV should especially stay away since they may be more at risk for attention problems? This reminds me of a funny cartoon I saw yesterday:

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