More Notes From the Apocalypse

Posted on August 7, 2007
Filed Under Culture, Main, TV | Leave a Comment

tvkids.jpgAccording to two stories in the Los Angeles Times, the end of culture as we know it is surely accelerating — due to the pervasive influence of television and advertising.

In a study conducted by Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle, for every hour that babies between 8 to 16 months old were shown such educational series as “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein,” their vocabulary contained six to eight fewer words than other children.

And, according to a study conducted by Dr. Tom Robinson of Stanford University, children ages 3 to 5 had their taste buds tricked by McDonalds’ advertising. The kids were given foods such as carrots, milk and apple juice wrapped in McDonalds’ name-brand wrappers and unmarked wrappers. The unmarked wrapped foods always tasted inferior to the foods branded as McDonalds’ despite the foods being exactly the same. And it worked the other way as well: McDonald’s’ hamburgers, chicken nuggets and French fries tasted better in McDonalds’ wrappers.

The upshot: Keep those kids away from TV shows and TV ads.

L.A. Times stories:
“Brainy” babies?
Wrapped foods

More: A 2004 study found that the amount of children’s television exposure at ages 1 and 3 directly relates to later attention problems .


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