New study shows why kids are fat -- and need 'disconnecting'
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New study shows why kids are fat -- and need 'disconnecting'

Examining a new study by Ipsos OTX (http://www.ipsos-na.com) -- which looks at the media habits and technology usage of preschoolers and those in grades 6-12 -- makes it obvious why so many of the kids in the US are fat and in trouble.

Kids now spend 5.2 hours on average a day engaged with media. That compares to 4.8 hours two years ago. However, the growth isn't with computers, but with video games. Over five hours? That's way too much. Kids need to unplug and be outside playing and reading. I love my electronic gadgets, but there's more to life than my Mac and iPad ...

Speaking of which, currently, 10% of parents with kids 6-12 own an iPad, and 27% plan to buy one in the next year. Thirty-five percent expect to buy a tablet computer in the next year.

Ownership of connected/mobile and next-gen devices is up in households with kids (laptops, Blu-ray players, handheld gaming devices, gaming consoles), while older technology (desktop computers, CD players, DVD players, landline) is down. Hmmm, maybe Apple needs to note the blurb about Blu-ray.

Thirty-two percent of kids under 12 own a cell phone. By age 11, more than half do. Give me a break. Kids under 11 don't need their own cell phones. None of us need to be "connected" all the time -- much less youngsters in their formative years.

So who drives the decision to get a kid a cell phone? Forty percent of parents do it alone, but 7% of kids present the idea to their parents -- and 33% of parents surveyed said the decision was equally theirs with the child. Equally theirs? C'mon, folks, parents are supposed to parent.

Eighty-one percent of parents check their daughters' text messages but only 72% of boys' parents do. This means that 28% of boys have no supervision in their cell phone use. Again, parents are falling down on the job here. Besides, this is just plain sexism.

Ipsos surveyed 2,080 kids and 715 parents for the survey.

-- Dennis Sellers

 

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