Children and TV Viewing
From smoking to eating to acting out, critics argue that what kids see on TV and in the movies affects their choices and behavior.Â Â Â
"Common sense tells us that when media glorifies violence, promiscuous sex and other forms of questionable behavior, as a society we're undermining the very principles we seek to uphold," said Rep. Nathan Daniel, Republican from Georgia.Â Â
There are growing concerns over childhood obesity.Â A Kaiser Family Foundation study from 2005 found that in 1,600 hours of commercials, kids saw food advertised more than anything else. The majority of those ads were for candy and snacks.Â Â Â
"We have to start shifting the balance of those unhealthy food ads. The fact that no fruits and vegetables is being advertised is pretty frightening," said Patti Miller of Children Now.Â Â Â
Lawmakers heard both sides of the debate at a house hearing in washington on images kids see on the screen.Â Â Â Â
"The primary responsibility for the health and well-being of all of our kids lies with the parents not necessarily with the media," said Rep. Fred Upton, Republican from Michgan.Â Â Â Â Â
"Parents and families have an undeniable responsibility to steer their children to healthy choices, but it is hard for parents to compete with popular kids' TV characters pushing sugary cereal," said Rep. Ed Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts.Â Â
Still, industry leaders say they're doing what they can.Â Â Â
"Children's programming and advertising are stepping up big time to promote children's health and lifestyle," said Dan Glickman of the Motion Picture Association of America.
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