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 Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>