The TV made me do it

Well, it’s official. The media is responsible for all most of our culture’s ills. We all suspected it, but now we have scientific evidence in the form of studies from the institution that claims the intellectual (and perhaps moral?) high ground about what’s best for our kids — Pediatric Medicine.

That’s right, folks, the lobbying organization designed to further the interests of the medical community, the American Medical Association, appearing in the form of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, has published a whole series of reports loaded with expert opinion and documentation that points a scientific finger at you and me. Just look at the table of contents for this issue:

  • Effects of Media Violence on Health-Related Outcomes Among Young Men
  • Short-term and Long-term Effects of Violent Media on Aggression in Children and Adults
  • Disentangling the Relation Between Television Viewing and Cognitive Processes in Children With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Comparison Children
  • Does Children’s Screen Time Predict Requests for Advertised Products?: Cross-sectional and Prospective Analyses
  • Development and Validation of a Smoking Media Literacy Scale for Adolescents
  • Television Viewing and Risk of Sexual Initiation by Young Adolescents
  • Social Interactions in Adolescent Television Viewing
  • Is Television Viewing Associated With Social Isolation?: Roles of Exposure Time, Viewing Context, and Violent Content
  • Parental Media Mediation Styles for Children Aged 2 to 11 Years
  • Content and Ratings of Mature-Rated Video Games
  • Metabolic and Physiologic Responses to Video Game Play in 7- to 10-Year-Old Boys
  • Television Exposure and Overweight Risk in Preschoolers
  • Parental Weight Status as a Moderator of the Relationship Between Television Viewing and Childhood Overweight
  • A Content Analysis of Health and Physical Activity Messages Marketed to African American Children During After-School Television Programming
  • When Children Eat What They Watch: Impact of Television Viewing on Dietary Intake in Youth

The Kansas City Star has a worthwhile wrap-up of these findings, including the assertion that mass media is a “public health issue.” This will be fertile grist for the Parent’s Television Council mill, which will mean more aggressive enforcement from the PTC’s legal arm, the FCC.

Hello, parents. Who speaks for you?

Not to worry. Take two aspirin, turn off the TV and call me in the morning.

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