Area of Study: The Efffects of Ads and Media upon Children

( [email protected] ) May 22, 2004 02:15 PM EDT

Spokesman of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Dr. Michael McDowell, states that media does not only influence children, but also draws large amounts of their time and attention working with media technology interactive activities.

A non-profit organization called Young Media Australia (YMA) calculates that, with Australian children watching an average of two-and-a-half hours of TV every day, those watching commercial TV are likely to see 30 adverts an hour, 75 a day and 23,000 a year.

As supposed to engaging in other healthier activities, children are immersed with everyday media. Dr. Michael McDowell brings up the potential of media influence on the other side. "If used selectively and appropriately, media technologies can be beneficial," he stressed.

Nonetheless, the effects of media upon the young generation remains a major health concern.

McDowell claims that children under the age of eight were more likely to believe advertising claims to be true. Study has shown that children wathcing a high proportion of advertising promoting "junk" food and candy correlates with obesity. Other than obesity, the report cited other areas of potential harm for children arising from media consumption, including the effects of exposure to violent or sexual content.

Researchers emphasize on parental regulation of children's exposure to the media, and recommended that governments increase funding to agencies helping in media security. The RCAP also recommended increased funding for children's media in public broadcasters, and for more research into the health and developmental effects of media on children.

Doctors and researchers also recommend that pediatricians ask about media habits of chilren when keeping records of medical and social history.

The RCAP called for regulation of food advertising during children's TV time, saying "media organizations and the food industry should be held accountable for the consequences of food advertising to children."

Ads should must not mislead or deceive but be clear and unambiguous, it says.