A huge number of children in America have televisions in their bedrooms, and it may be causing them to be, well...HUGE!
New research from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has found that kids with TVs in their bedrooms are 2.5 times as likely to be overweight and nearly three times as likely to be at risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Researcher Amanda Staiano and her team were looking for a link between watching TV and children’s health. Their study involved 369 children between the ages of 5 and 18. About a third of those kids watched five hours of television a day!
Those children were at twice the risk for fat around their internal organs, a forerunner to disease later on. Commenting on the study, Dr. Staiano said "It's really troubling to see these kids with fat around their heart and liver.”
By the way, a separate study by Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 70% of American kids have a television in their bedroom.
Here’s another media-related item for you…this one on the changing nature of motion picture ratings.
Aris Christofides, an editor at the parental media review website Kids in Mind, says "Movies are definitely getting more violent. There's definitely more gore. In a PG-13 movie 10 years ago, you expected violence, but not gore.”
Aris goes on to say: “We tend to think of the MPAA as being an independent organization. It's not. It's the lobbying arm of the movie industry. What they are trying to do is accommodate marketing decisions. The ratings system is dynamic; it evolves and changes with our culture."
So if you have kids at home, where can you go for guidance on TV shows, movies, popular music and video games? I’d recommend Focus on the Family’s media review website, PluggedIn.com.
I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.