Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Watch not, want not? Packard/Stanford study links kids’ TV time and consumerism

04.04.2006


Peace at any price? More than one parent has forked over cash in a desperate bid to stop their kids’ badgering for the hottest toy or the latest snack. Now researchers at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford’s School of Medicine have found that the more time California third-graders spent in front of the tube or playing video games, the more often they asked an adult to buy them items they saw on the screen.



"It’s called the ’nag factor,’" said Lisa Chamberlain, MD, MPH, Packard Children’s researcher and clinical instructor at the medical school, "and it’s very effective."

What’s more, the correlation between increased screen time and subsequent requests for toys and junk food held true for over a period of 20 months.


Chamberlain warns that, if left unchecked, increasing amounts of screen time for children could foster a rise in obesity and consumerism that will reverberate for decades. She is the lead author of the research, which will be published in the April issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"We’re proving what marketers have known for years," said Chamberlain. "Kids have discretionary income of their own, and they also have a lot of influence of how their parents spend the family’s money."

Chamberlain collaborated with pediatric researcher Thomas Robinson, MD, for the study. Robinson is well-known for his investigations into the links between television viewing and obesity, violence and test scores. He is also the director of Packard Children’s Center for Healthy Weight, and an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford’s School of Medicine.

The researchers surveyed more than 800 ethnically and socio-demographically diverse third-graders at 12 elementary schools in California. They asked the children how much time they spent watching television or watching movies or videos on a VCR. The study also included playing video games. The kids were then asked if, in the previous week, they had asked an adult to buy them any food or drinks they had seen on the screen. A separate question asked about toys.

On average, the children reported spending more than 22 hours of screen time each week - about 10 of which was spent watching television. The remainder of the time was mostly spent playing video games online or on home video game machines, both of which incorporate increasing amounts of advertising targeted to children.

The children fessed up to about one request each week for toys and two requests every three weeks for food or drinks. These numbers are similar to those reported in other studies.

More than 300 of these children from six of the schools also answered the same questions seven, 12 and 20 months after the initial assessment. The researchers found that those who watched more entertainment than their peers at the beginning of the study wanted more stuff nearly two years later - to the tune of one extra toy request every three to four months and one extra food or beverage request every three to six months for every additional hour of screen time daily. Although this may not seem like a large increase, it’s statistically significant for snacks, and maddening to their verbal targets - Mom and Dad.

"Our result demonstrates that television and other screen media are true ’risk factors’ for future requests for food and drinks," the researchers conclude, "regardless of a child’s gender, ethnicity, economic standing or language." Chamberlain and other researchers are particularly concerned about the fact that kid-targeted advertising frequently promotes high-calorie, nutritionally poor choices. Legislators interested in obesity prevention in children would do well to turn their attention to the forces that drive kids to make unhealthy decisions, they said.

"Kids are an easy target for advertisers," concluded Robinson. "Younger children aren’t even able to understand that ads, which are now cropping up in video games and movies, online and even in cell phones, are intended to sell them things. Marketers need to be part of the solution for the obesity epidemic by helping parents, not making it harder for them."

Krista Conger | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stanford.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>