NewScientist.com, "The World's No. 1 Science & Technology News Service" (with somewhat of a predilection to articles on obesity), have reported on a new study purporting that television and video game exposure "should be viewed as a major public health issue and, like cigarettes, these media should come with a health warning"). In fact, such excess childhood exposure can "increase obesity, tobacco and alcohol use, risky sexual behaviours, violence and social isolation." Let us analyze all of the article's assertions and findings:
- These media should come with a health warning. We could have sworn television, film, and video games have done this before.
- The data linking violent media to aggression are "just as strong" as
those linking smoking and lung cancer. In my experience I have seen just as many studies refuting the claim as supporting it (and some of those
studies supporting the link are a tad questionable) ... so
maybe what the article is actually saying is that there is only a 50% chance cigarettes could kill you. Besides,
wouldn't the tobacco industry want its customers to stay alive and smoking?