Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Impulsivity and Non-nutritious Food Advertisements: A Worrisome Combination

Photo by Honza Soukup via Flickr
There are studies in the peer-reviewed literature that demonstrate the influence of unhealthy food advertisements on caloric intake of children. Yet what happens when childrenespecially impulsive childrenare exposed to online “advergames” promoting energy-dense, high-calorie foods?

Folkvord et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-3384) perform a fascinating study to show how the power of media persuasion in an impulsive child can triumph over being asked directly to refrain from eating. The impulsive children, along with the non-impulsive children, were randomized to play advergames while being rewarded to not eat while playing these games. Interestingly, this power of media persuasion does not triumph in children who lack impulsivity. In addition, the authors explore how these advergames, even when no reward is offered for non-eating, can contribute to increased caloric intake in both impulsive and non-impulsive children.

If you were skeptical about the role advertising plays in becoming susceptible to eating the product being advertised, this study should remove any doubt of skepticism. In fact, hopefully the media will advertise this study so parents, as well as pediatricians, can recognize the risks of overexposure to food advertisements, particularly the non-nutritious ones, in terms of their association with increased weight gain in children who watch these more than others. This is a study well-worth ingesting your time to read and learn about.

Related Reading:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Using Social Media to Recruit Patients with Rare Diseases for Research Studies

When a child has a rare disease and researchers want to study that disease, it is often difficult to recruit enough patients to make the study results valid, reliable, and in turn, generalizable.

Photo by Johan Larsson via Flickr
Schumacher et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds. 2013-2966) reflect on this problem by sharing the results of posting a study for patients with a rare form of protein-losing enteropathy and/or the rare pulmonary disease, plastic bronchitis, and tracking how patients learned of the study –e.g. via the original posting or through social media outlets for families with these rare problems. The results suggest that patient recruitment might be better achieved through social media than through more traditional websites that discuss rare disease research.

There is a lot to think about in reading how parents learned of these rare studies and the power of social media for recruiting subjects for rare disease research. If you have not journeyed into the world of social media—be aware that your patients certainly have—and you can join our world by visiting us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on breaking studies in our journal and others.

Related Reading:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Studies on Media Exposure in Young Children Provide Concerning Results

Photo by normanack via Flickr
The AAP has made media awareness a priority issue for pediatricians and patients and policies to limit media exposure in infants, children and teens have come forth over the past few years in our journal (doi: 10.1542/ peds.2013-2656).

Despite the policies, children seem to be spending more and more time engaged in media usage so this week we are releasing two studies you can share with your patients that might make more of a dent in reducing the amount of television or other media children are often routinely exposed to at home.

The first study by Cespedes et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3998) looked at sleep duration differences between infancy and mid-childhood when there was a television in the bedroom as the child got older, as well as whether sleep duration was influenced negatively by the amount of television watched overall. Given the studies we have published on the association of inadequate sleep with general mental and physical health, having sleep duration potentially influenced, or at least associated with, prolonged television exposure and/or television in the bedroom is a message that is well-worth sharing with your patients.

Similarly, a second study by Radesky et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-2367) looked at parental report of infant behavioral self-regulation and its association with early childhood media exposure. The authors’ study hypothesis was that poor-self regulation would result in parents placing their child in front of television and videos more than those parents who did not perceive their children having self-regulation problems. Again—alerting families that there are better solutions to perceived behavioral issues with their children than simply putting them in front of a television or video screen is also some guidance we might provide to parents in our quest to reduce media exposure in our youngest patients.

Channel your energy into reading these two studies so you can in turn channel your media-reduction messages even more to your patients.

Related Reading:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Texting and Parenting in Fast-food Restaurants: Try Not to Order This Combo!

Photo by Jhaymesisviphotography via Flickr
How often do we see mobile devices being used in restaurants nowadays? How often do we see parents of young children dining with their kids in fast food restaurants while also trying to text or use their smart phones? What does
the use of these devices do to caregiver-child interaction? Does the frequency, duration, or type of device use result in children being cooperative, entertaining themselves or revving up with acting out behaviors to regain their parent’s attention?

So many questions just ripe for Radesky et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3703) to address in a fascinating observational study of parents dining in fast-food restaurants with young children and using mobile devices at the same time. What happens when these devices come out and stay out to compete with a child for parental attention?

Read on—and perhaps tweet or share your thoughts on this study by responding to the blog below, sending us an eLetter or leaving your comment on our Facebook page –but don’t do it if a young child is dining with you at the same time.

Related Reading:

Monday, December 9, 2013

Violent Characters in Popular Movies and Their Other Concerning Risk-Taking Behaviors

Photo by Nemo via Pixabay
Recently we published a study showing the high prevalence of gun violence in popular grossing movies to be just as high in PG-13 as R-rated films (doi: peds.10.1542/2013-1600). But there’s now more bad news for you to think about exposure-wise when teens head for the movies—at least according to a most interesting study by Bleakley et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1922) that studied almost 400 top-grossing films from 1985 to 2010 to see if a character engaged in an act of violence also turned to sex, tobacco, or alcohol within the same 5 minutes of film footage.

Sadly, what you surmise is proven true the vast majority of the time with once again PG-13 and R films showing no differences in the number of co-occurrences between violence and other risk-taking behaviors. Clustering these activities so closely together makes one wonder what this does to the minds of our adolescents, let alone our own brains watching these violent films?

We welcome your comments via your responses below or via our social media or eLetter sites. Perhaps what you see on screen does not suggest similar behaviors in real life—although there are a number of studies looking at teen behaviors after watching characters smoke or drink on screen that would make you think otherwise.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Adiposity and Screen Time: Do Different Types of Media Exposure Make a Difference?

We are all aware of the association between increased screen time and weight gain, but just what type of screen activity carries an increased risk of gain in BMI?

Photo by Lexie Flickinger via Flickr
Falbe et al. (doi: peds.10.1542/2013-0887) seek the answer to that question using reports of screen time data in more than 4,000 girls and 3,500 boys as well as BMI changes over time. Needless to say, TV certainly plays a key role given how much food advertising appears through that medium, but don’t discount the role of electronic games, DVDs, and videos.

To gain a better understanding of just which form of screen time affects which gender more and with what magnitude of BMI change, screen this article carefully and then see if the hypothesis being tested applies to the overweight patients in your practice as well. Whether you agree or disagree with the findings in this study, let others know with a response below or via our journal’s Facebook page or tweet your response @Lewis_First.

Related Reading:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cinema’s Portrayal of Gun Violence

Regardless of where you stand on gun control, we are all exposed to gun use in mass media. To prove this point, Bushman et al. (doi: peds.10.1542/2013-1600) opted to look at the presence of violence, and in particular gun violence, in films over a span of more than 60 years.

Photo by ToastyKen via Flickr
The results will trouble you—gun violence in PG-13 films has more than tripled since the rating was first developed in 1985 and is as prevalent now as the amount of violence in R-rated films. Since violent films have been associated with an increased risk of aggressive behaviors, and they are omnipresent through theaters, television, and Internet—then clearly the implications of this study speak for themselves.

But if you need even more powerful and disturbing comparisons of growing scenes of violence across decades, then screen this study carefully and in turn share it with your patients and their families so they are aware of the powerful influence the media may have on violence in our society.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Breakfast of Chump-ions

What foods do star athletes promote?
Public Domain Photo
It is quite common for us to watch television, particularly sporting events, and see a professional athlete endorsing a product during a commercial. Oftentimes, professional athletes are promoting food or beverages in these commercials. But just how healthy are the food and drinks they promote, given that these athletes are role models to younger children and teens?

Bragg et al. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-0093) look at this question by linking the top 100 athletes who endorse products with the nutritional quality of the products they endorse. Their study, being released this week, does not touch down in a way that hits a home run when it comes to promotion of healthy foods. Actually, for the majority of athletic endorsements of food products, calories seem to be winning big—too big, and nutrients are clearly in the “loss” column.  If you want to really review the box score on these products and which athletes promote them more than others, then be a sport—and read this interesting study.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tobacco Marketing and Its Effect on Children: More Than Just a National Concern!

We are certainly aware of the effects of tobacco advertising on children and teenagers in this country based on studies we and other journals have published on this topic. Yet, the United States is not the only country where this issue continues to be a problem. Internationally, tobacco marketing can affect young children and their attitudes and behaviors regarding smoking and as shown this week by Borzekowski and Cohen (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1150) in a study examining tobacco marketing to 5 and 6 year olds in six low- and middle-income countries. The children in the study were asked to match logos to products that included logos for cigarette brands in their countries. Suffice it to say, the greater the media exposure for a child, the more likely a young child could identify at least one cigarette brand logo. The authors share much more information about other factors that further enhance this recognition and call for better measures to restrict tobacco marketing internationally.

If your local school district is not working on curriculum to alert students to the influence of what current marketing can do to influence behavior (even years later), then this study should light up your desire to advocate for such a curriculum and other preventive measures to curtail as much tobacco marketing to minors as possible.