The dangers of second hand television watching.

No, no, no. I don't mean the dangers of watch a pre-owned television, I mean the dangers of being around someone else who has watched television.

I. Shit. You. Not.

For parents wanting to reduce the negative influence of TV on their children, the first step is normally to switch off the television set.
But a new study suggests that might not be enough. It turns out indirect media exposure, i.e., having friends who watch a lot of TV, might be even more damaging to a teenager's body image.

Where could they possibly be going with this latest none sense study?

Researchers examined the link between media consumption and eating disorders among adolescent girls in Fiji.
What they found was surprising. The study's subjects did not even need to have a television at home to see raised risk levels of eating disorder symptoms.

Television causes eating disorders in teenage girls, even if they are not actually watching it? I've heard some nonesense but this takes the proverbial.

In fact, by far the biggest factor for eating disorders was how many of a subject's friends and schoolmates had access to TV. By contrast, researchers found that direct forms of exposure, like personal or parental viewing, did not have an independent impact, when factors like urban location, body shape and other influences were taken into account.

It appeared that changing attitudes within a group that had been exposed to television were a more powerful factor than actually watching the programs themselves. In fact, higher peer media exposure were linked to a 60 percent increase in a girl's odds of having a high level of eating disorder symptoms, independently of her own viewing.

It's like the passive smoking argument isn't it. Passive smoking is apparently so dangerous that it has become more deadly than active smoking.

"If you are a parent and you are concerned about limiting cultural exposure, it simply isn't going to be enough to switch off the TV. If you are going to think about interventions, it would have to be at a community or peer-based level."

Here we go. Interventions. More restrictions to protect the kiddies. But in what form?

Becker hopes the paper will encourage debate about responsible programming and the regulation of media content to prevent children from secondhand exposure.

Please read the passage again and take it in:

Becker hopes the paper will encourage debate about responsible programming and the regulation of media content to prevent children from secondhand exposure.

This person wants to regulate the media. Even more so, it would seem, than it is already regulated. To the extent that a person who has watched TV will not pass on what they have seen to other people. Or that a person watching TV will not see anything that may influence another, if they choose to talk about it.

"Did you watch XXXX on telly last night", will be banned. All for the sake of the kiddies.

"Up until now, it has been very difficult to get people who produce media as entertainment to come to the table and think about how they might ensure that their products are not harmful to children," she said.

Why has it been very difficult? Because it is not the responsibility of the media makers to ensure everything they put out can have no harmful effects on children whatsoever.

I spoke before about the plans to block internet porn to houses with children. It is not the responsibility of the supplier to control how their product is handled by the end user. Children have no money. Adults purchase televisions and it is their responsibility to decide what their children watch, not the people who make programs.

There are already regulations about what can be shown when. That goes far enough.

What makes Fiji a particularly interesting case is that traditional culture prizes a robust body shape, in sharp contrast to the image presented by Western television shows such as Beverly Hills 90210, Seinfeld and Melrose Place, which were quite popular in Fiji when television debuted there in the 1990s.

Girls would see actresses as role models, says Becker, and began noting how a slender body shape was often accompanied by success in those shows.

First off,a slender body does not equal eating disorder. If people see attractive actresses in fictional television programs, it does not automatically mean they will get anorexia. Some will if they have other extenuating social influences, but only a minority. This day and age sees us trying to regulate or ban entire aspects of society on the off chance they may have a negative affect on one or two people.

Secondly, Beverly Hills 90210 is absolute pap. How anyone from Fiji could look on a noisey, whiney, annoying American teenager as a role model is beyond me. Not only is it pap, it's pure fiction, as in, Not Real.

"It shouldn't be that surprising to us, even though it is intriguing, that the indirect effects of media are greater," Christakis said. "Most people aren't paying attention to the media, but they are paying attention to what their friends say about what's in the media. It's a kind of filtration process that takes place by virtue of our social networks."

This statement doesn't even make sense. Most people don't pay attention to the media, yet they are influenced by others who do. If most people pay no attention then surely the ones that do are in a very small minority and cant have a massive affect. Either I have read that statement wrong or it's the biggest piece of utter bollocks ever to be put in print.

Becker says that although the study focused on Fijian schoolgirls, remote from the US, it warrants concern and further investigation of the health impact on other populations.

For warrants concern, read a lot of funding from the taxpayer.

What knob waffle!

Thanks to Leg-Iron for spotting this tosh


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