Our culture is steeped in violence

A timely article given the sheer number of mass shootings that are rocking the nation. The last two big ones – at the Planned Parenthood clinic and in San Bernadino – are beyond troubling… Continue reading

Limiting screen time for kids

A good summary article of the state of affairs in terms of screen time in childhood, its ill-effects on kids, and some approaches to making a difference. In terms of screen time, the figures are staggering with kids spending many, many hours per day in front of screens while only spending about a half hour daily reading. Continue reading

The media can be one factor in developing eating disorders

A thoughtful and thorough article about the connection between eating disorders and media immersion. The idea here is that young females especially, but also males, who watch much media – and the average now is at least four hours a day – are constantly being presented with images of female and male beauty that glamorizes slimness. This repetitious act of viewing such thin and beautiful humans becomes embedded in our psyches so that the viewer sees thinness as an ideal, one toward which she or he strives. Continue reading

Child supermodels?

An interesting article about a 9-year old Russian supermodel named Kristina Piminova. As the article correctly points out, this lovely young girl is being sexualized by the media and certainly by those who follow her and her various photo spreads. Though she is mostly modeling children’s clothing, people who find her attractive are often adults who see her through the lens of sexuality. Continue reading

Social media as a way around advertising regulations

An interesting article describing how junk food companies work to finesse their way around laws established in Australia to stem the consumption of junky foods by kids. The technique is simple: go directly to advertising to kids on Facebook. Apparently Australian legislators have set limits on junk food advertising to kids on TV but not via the social media. Continue reading

Media has a strong influence on food choices, good or bad

An excellent and upbeat article well worth close study. The idea is that, although the media has played a negative role in inducing kids into bad food habits, the media can also play its part in positive directions in terms of influencing kids to eat healthy. Continue reading

Media presents impossible standards of beauty

A valuable article that relies on a number of worthwhile sources to makes its major point: Girls growing up with the media as their “super peer” find themselves facing dilemmas in terms of body image. The result is an unrealistic set of self-expectations and often a sense of their own inferiority. Continue reading

Makers of e-cigarettes getting around the law

A troubling if thought-provoking article about how companies making e-cigarettes seem to be working to get around federal legislation banning advertising of cigarettes to minors. At issue here is the making and marketing of candy-flavored cigarettes, a relatively new product that, according to many concerned parties, can play a crucial role in hooking kids on nicotine from a very early age. Continue reading

Alcohol is too often shown in a humorous light

A terse and simple article that makes the point well about how much of a negative effect mainstream media immersion has on kids in terms of alcohol consumption. Citing many troubling statistics including the massive amount of money spent annually by alcohol-selling companies on advertising, the fact that about 50% of the presentations of alcohol consumption in mainstream media show it in a humorous light, and only about 23% show a downside, the article makes some very well-known points about the causative connection of media imagery to kids being influenced to drink. Continue reading

FDA tries fighting fire with fire

A longish article of an interview of and FDA official about a new campaign being launched by the FDA to dissuade kids from smoking. Like many behaviors glamorized or encouraged by the media, such drinking alcohol, taking drugs, having sex indiscriminately, or overeating, cigarette smoking remains a serious problem for America’s youth. Despite massive government efforts via fining the tobacco industry, banning TV ads of cigarette products, etc, the problem is not going away. Continue reading