TV & Cigarettes

"American TV drama series Mad Men has triggered a dramatic boom in the sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes, causing outrage among anti-smoking campaigners." - The Telegraph (Sept 2013)

"Tobacco and smoking were seen less frequently on movie screens from 1996 to 2009, but scenes with alcohol and drinking in movies aimed at youth have risen, researchers found." - MedPage Today (May 2013)

"But it's not just in movies that portray smokers in a historically accurate setting. In fact, the worst movie for smoking in 2012 was the latest James Bond installment, Skyfall, according to Smoke Free Movies, an initiative at the University of California San Francisco." -  Huffington Post (Dec 2012)

"The results were praised by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics; both called on the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to give R ratings to films featuring smoking. Since 2007, the MPAA has taken smoking into consideration when rating films as one of several factors, which also include sexuality, language and violence, says MPAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaltman." -  USA Today (July 2011)

"Only one month into being a non-smoker, I was still in a vulnerable state. And seeing Don Draper and his cohorts take drag after drag after drag, I started to pine for that terrible rush of nausea again. I mean, they looked so elegant when their lives weren't dissolving into a series of vices!" - Psychology Today (May 2011)

"Smoking in the Movies: Under-the-Radar Cigarette Advertising?"  -  PR Watch (April 2009)

"Behind the glamorous classic-film images of movie stars with cigarette in hand or dangling between the lips were advertising agreements worth millions in today's dollars, researchers found. These deals between tobacco companies and the studios that had the stars under contract continue to influence smoking in movies, reported Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues online in Tobacco Control." -  MedPage Today (Sept 2008)

"Harvard tells Hollywood to ban cigarettes from kids' movies... Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at U.C. San Francisco and creator of the Smoke Free Movies campaign, says Glickman probably expected Harvard to come up with a limp education campaign and leave it at that. But Harvard got tough. In recommendations presented to the industry last month and made public this week, Harvard said the studios should eliminate smoking altogether from films "accessible to children and youth.""  -  Slate (April 2007)

"Trailers pair tobacco use with popular movie stars and edgy action shots," the authors write. "These images translate into positive images of tobacco that are conveyed to a broad audience, including a large population younger than 18 years." Studies have shown that most movies released in the United States contain images of smoking, including about half of those with PG or G ratings, according to background information in the article. Surveys of children and adolescents indicate that they are more likely to smoke if their favorite movie stars do, and that watching movies in which characters smoke can have an immediate effect on their attitudes toward smoking."  -  Bio-Medicine (Sept 2006)

"Eighth-grade students (N = 160) did the assignments with either (a) a soap opera, (b) music videos, (c) radio music, or (d) no medium in the background. Results indicated that doing homework combined with watching a soap opera interfered with students' performance on both types of assignments."  -  Wiley Online Library (Feb 2006)

""The weight of dozens of studies, after controlling for all other known influences, shows the more smoking that kids see on screen, the more likely they are to smoke. This strong empirical evidence affects hundreds of thousands of families," said Annemarie Charlesworth, lead author and research specialist, University of California." - Bio-Medicine (Dec 2005)

"A study in the US shows that exposure to on-screen smoking through popular films is a primary factor in determining whether young people will take up the habit" - Bio-Medicine (Nov 2005)

"Most parents underestimate the impact movies have on their children. This study clearly shows that adolescents are much more likely to smoke or drink if their parents let them watch R-rated movies"  -  Science Daily (Feb 2002)

TV & Alcohol

"Exposure to tobacco advertising predicted smoking adoption and continuance among German adolescents, researchers found." - MedPage Today (June 2013)

"Tobacco and smoking were seen less frequently on movie screens from 1996 to 2009, but scenes with alcohol and drinking in movies aimed at youth have risen, researchers found." - MedPage Today (May 2013)

"The researchers found a consistent link: 10 to 20 percent of participants with some of the lowest movie-related alcohol exposure had binged themselves, compared to about 40 percent who had seen the most scenes with alcohol, according to findings reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics." - Raw Story (March 2012)  and  MedPage Today (March 2012)

"Tobacco advertising should be banned in all media and limitations placed on alcohol advertising to prevent exposure of substance-related content to children and adolescents, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)." - MedPage Today (Sept 2010)

"TV Booze Ads Target Teens" - MedPage Today (August 2009)  and  Live Science (August 2009)

"Alcohol In Films and Ads Increases Youth Drinking" - MedPage Today (March 2009)

"Young adolescents are increasingly taking their example from movies, and starting to experiment with alcohol at a very early age. A research// study has measured the influence of alcohol use in movies and, using data from more than 600 films and 5,000 students, found that movies play a significant role in an adolescent's decision to drink at a young age." - Bio-Medicine (Jan 2006)

TV & Diabetes

"A review of published studies in the past 40 years has shown a higher risk of diabetes, heart problems and early death among people who watch lots of television, US researchers said Tuesday."  -  Raw Story (June 2011)  and  MedPage Today (June 2011)

"Increasing Physical Activity And Limiting Television May Lead To Reduction In Type 2 Diabetes" - Science Daily (Dec 2008)

"Diabetic children who spent the most time glued to the TV had a tougher time controlling their blood sugar, according to a Norwegian study that illustrates yet another downside of too much television." - CBS News (May 2007)

Risk for Type 2 Diabetes... "Children who reported watching TV/playing video games 2 or more hours/day were 73% more likely to be at risk." - Journal of School Health (2006)

"Sedentary behaviors, especially TV watching, are associated with a significantly elevated risk of obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes, whereas even light to moderate activity (e.g., walking) is associated with substantially lower risk." - American College of Preventive Medicine

TV & Hypertension & High Blood Pressure & Heart Attacks

"Certain eating behaviors in small children, including chowing down in front of the TV, were significantly associated with a surrogate marker for heart disease later in life, researchers found."  -  MedPage Today (June 2013)

"A review of published studies in the past 40 years has shown a higher risk of diabetes, heart problems and early death among people who watch lots of television, US researchers said Tuesday."  -  Raw Story (June 2011)

"After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, parental education, height, BMI and time spent in physical activity, each hour per day spent in screen time, watching TV and playing video games was associated with a significant increase in diastolic BP of 0.44 (P=0.0001), 0.99 (P<0.0001) and 0.64 mm Hg (P=0.04), respectively. In contrast, each hour per day spent reading was associated with a decrease of 0.91 (P=0.01) and 0.69 mm Hg (P=0.02) in systolic and diastolic BP, respectively. Our results indicate that addressing different types of sedentary activities could be a potentially important strategy to reduce the prevalence of elevated BP in children."  -  PubMed (May 2011)

"People who spend more than two hours a day watching TV or sitting in front of a screen when they get home from work face double the risk of heart disease and higher risk of dying, a study has found." - The Sidney Morning Herald (April 2011)

"The study shows that adults who averaged more than two hours sitting in front of a television or computer screen that was not related to their job or schoolwork had roughly twice the risk of having heart attacks, heart surgeries, strokes, or other cardiovascular events, compared to those who logged less than two hours of daily screen time." - WebMD (Jan 2011)

"TV And Computer Screen Time May Be Associated With High Blood Pressure In Young Children " - Science Daily (August 2009)  and  MedPage Today (August 2009)  and  The New York Times (August 2009)

"Another study has linked TV viewing to increased incidence of childhood obesity, but this time the researchers also pinpoint a higher risk of the children developing hypertension." - Food Navigator (Oct 2007) and Science Daily (Oct 2007)

TV and Metabolic Syndrome

  "Television screen time, but not computer use and reading time, is associated with cardio-metabolic biomarkers in a multiethnic Asian population: a cross-sectional study"  -  Bio Med Central (May 2013)

"Teens, Screens, and Metabolic Syndrome"  -  Psychology Today (Jan 2013)

TV & Asthma

"Childhood rates of chronic health problems, including obesity, asthma and learning disabilities, have doubled in just 12 years, a new study reports — to 1 in 4 children in 2006, up from 1 in 8 in 1994."  The New York Times (Feb 2010)

"Young children who spend more than two hours glued to the TV every day double their subsequent risk of developing asthma, indicates research published ahead of print in Thorax."  Science Daily (March 2009)

"A study of more than 3,000 children found those who watched a lot of TV around the age of three were more likely to be diagnosed with the condition by the age of 11." - Scotsman (March 2009) and Science Daily (Feb 2009)  and  MedPage Today (March 2009) 

"New study raises concerns about screen time among urban children with asthma" - e! Science News (Feb 2009)

TV & Epilepsy

"Rapidly flashing lights and other fast-moving visual effects in movies, television, and video games can trigger sudden epileptic seizures and other neurological disorders in humans, and a recent warning by an epilepsy group confirms this. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Maryland-based Epilepsy Foundation recently issued a warning about the new, hit movie Breaking Dawn, which is part of the Twilight series, that essentially proves popular media's ability to reprogram brain neurology.  -  Natural News (Dec 2011)  and  Baltimore Sun (Dec 2011)

"A Japanese television network called in doctors, psychologists and animation experts to find out why a popular cartoon triggered seizures in hundreds of children nationwide."  CNN (Dec 1997)

TV and Sperm Count

"“Men who watched more than 20 hours of TV every week had 44 percent lower sperm counts compared to those who watched almost no TV,” says lead author Audrey Gaskins, a doctoral candidate at Harvard’s School of Public Health. “And then men who exercised for 15 hours or more per week at moderate to vigorous levels had 73 percent higher sperm counts than those who exercised less than five hours per week.”"  -  Daily Beast (Feb 2013)  and  Huffington Post (Feb 2013)  and  Live Science (Feb 2013)  and  BBC (Feb 2013)  and  WebMD (Feb 2013)  and  MedPage Today (Feb 2013)

TV & Fitness

"TheLittle couch potatoes have worse motor coordination than their active peers, which periodic bouts of exercise may not overcome, Portuguese researchers found." - MedPage Today (August 2012)

"Each hour of TV watched by a two- to four-year- old contributes to his or her waist circumference by the end of grade 4 and his or her ability to perform in sports, according to a world-first study undertaken by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Saint-Justine Mother and Child University Hospital."  Science Daily (July 2012)  and  News is News (July 2012)  and  Live Science (July 2012)  and  Time (July 2012)

"Spending too much time in front of computers and other electronic screens may cause American children's heart and lung fitness levels, or "cardiorespiratory" fitness, to decline, a new study suggests."  US News - Health (June 2012)

"A study of low-income housing residents has documented that the more television people say they watched, the less active they were, researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues report."  Natural News (Sept 2006)

TV & Death

"Anyone who spends six hours a day in front of the box is at risk of dying five years sooner than those who enjoy more active pastimes, it is claimed. Researchers say that watching too much TV is as dangerous as smoking or being overweight, and that the “ubiquitous sedentary behaviour” should be seen as a “public health problem”. " - The Telegraph (Aug 2011)  and  MedPage Today (August 2011)

"Can sitting too much kill you?" - Scientific American (Jan 2011)  and  MedPage Today (Jan 2011)  and  Live Science (Jan 2011)

"The results  also showed that those who watched TV for four hours a day or more had a 46 percent increased risk of death from any cause and an 80 percent increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who watched TV less than two hours a day. This connection was found to be independent of other risk factors for death and cardiovascular disease, including smoking, high cholesterol, poor diet, high blood pressure and a large waistline. " -  Live Science (Jan 2010)  and (Jan 2010)  and  MedPage Today (Jan 2010)

"I’m still alive and I watch as much if not more TV than anyone I know, so clearly this research is just a bunch of scare tactics being promoted by Australian anti-television groups "  - (March 2010)

TV's Falling on Children

"The rate of child injury from falling televisions has increased by 95% over the past 22 years, researchers found." - MedPage Today (July 2013)

TV and Health

"Effect of Media Exposure on Child Health" - Frank W. Baker - A collection of recently published news stories

TV and Myopia

"Studies on rhesus monkeys, however, suggest that simple light exposure is the more likely explanation. While myopia is extremely uncommon among nonhuman primates, researchers can easily induce myopia by depriving infant monkeys of normal outdoor lighting levels. (Outdoor lighting is usually about 100 times more intense than what you get inside.) It’s no wonder that the most extreme changes in myopia prevalence over recent decades have occurred in sunny places like Singapore, where the difference between outdoor and indoor light intensity is most extreme."  -  Slate (Oct 2013)

TV and Condoms

"Hollywood could help us address this problem.  If Megan Fox cuts off a guy until he agrees to wear a condom, the language she uses, the confidence she displays, could give other women an idea of how they can pull of the same feat.  And this modeling of behavior is really important.  Most people, after all, have witnessed hundreds of screen kisses before they’ve actually kissed another person.  They’ve seen dozens of people ask other people out on dates, before they have asked anyone out on a date.  We learn a lot from the movies about the basics of romance.  But we rarely learn about the basics of safe sex. "  -  Psychology Today (March 2013)

TV and Body Image

"A recent survey of nearly 500 women Emirati university students showed a quarter of them fell in the category of possibly having eating disorders.  Amani Al Hashemi, a student counsellor at the Abu Dhabi Women's College (ADWC), who will soon publish the findings of her study, is investigating the effects of the media on Emirati women's body image and self-perception." - Gulf News (May 2010)  and  Psychology Today (Aug 2012)

"What they found was surprising. The study’s subjects did not even need to have a television at home to see raised risk levels of eating disorder symptoms. In fact, by far the biggest factor for eating disorders was how many of a subject’s friends and schoolmates had access to TV." - PsyPost (Jan 2011) 

"The results were startling: there was a strong impact of second-hand tv exposure on body image concerns, pressure to be thin, and symptoms of disordered eating. For example, if a girl's friends watched a lot of television, that girl had a 60% increased risk of having an eating disorder. When the researchers controlled for second-hand exposure, what girls watched themselves had no independent impact on these outcomes." - Psychology Today Blog (Jan 2011)

"Among other things, the collected data indicates that kids crave connection and that feeling a lack of it has a strong influence on the development of eating disorders." -  Psychology Today Blog (July  2009)

"Desperate Housewives and other TV soap operas may help make adolescent girls desperate for a thinness few can healthily achieve, new Australian research suggests." - Life Clinic (June 2005)

"We found men who were exposed to images of the so-called "ideal" male became more depressed and significantly more dissatisfied with the size and shape of their own muscular build once they were exposed to those commercials." - (May 2005)

"Media's Effect On Girls: Body Image And Gender Identity" - MediaWise (Sept 2002)

"Parents worry about their kids eating junk food while watching television, but seeing a constant barrage of ultra-thin models and actors can also foster eating disorders." - Psychology Today (2001)

"Study Finds TV Alters Fiji Girls' View of Body" The New York Times (May 1999)  and Dimensions Magazine (May 1999)

Exercise and Will-Power

"Aerobic exercise may protect against binge-like patterns of cocaine use, suggests a new study. Rats allowed access to running wheels self-administered less cocaine than did rats that were not."  -  Science Daily (Nov 2010)

Video Games & Exercise

"But exergames turn out to be much digital ado about nothing, at least as far as measurable health benefits for children. “Active” video games distributed to homes with children do not produce the increase in physical activity that naοve parents (like me) expected." - The New York Times (June 2012)  and  GamePolitics (June 2012)

"Owens' study, which he has submitted to a refereed professional journal, found that children did display significant increases in aerobic fitness after three months with the Wii Fit. However, three months of home Wii Fit use produced no significant changes in daily physical activity, muscular fitness, flexibility, balance or body composition for families as a whole." - ScienceDaily (Dec 2009)

Recommended Websites

Bowling Alone 

Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood

Ellen Currey Wilson – The Big Turnoff 

Herber Valley Unplugged

I’m Missing All Of My Shows 

Instead of TV 

Kill Your Television 

Media by Choice

Media Violence Resource Center

People Unplugged

Plato's Cave

Play Unplugged

Screen Free Project

Screen Free Week

Television vs Children 

The New Citizen

Trash Your TV

Turn Off That TV

TV Smarter - Blog 

TV Stinks 

Unplug Your Kids 

White Dot 

White Dot – Forum 

Recommended Articles

"Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor"

University of Otago research - TV and Academic Achievement

University of Otago research - TV and Crime

Unplug Your Brain - by Jerry Mander

Why Turnoff Completely

The Dangers of TV

TV Promoting Guns

Television and Children (University of Michigan)

Strangers in Our Homes: TV and Our Children's Minds

Excerpted from Endangered Minds - Kids' Brains Must Be Different

How Background TV Undermines Well-Being

Electronic Screen Syndrome and the rise of mental disorders in children

1000 studies over 30 years

selling audiences to advertisers

How TV Teaches Stupidity

8 Changes I Experienced After Giving Up TV

Top 5 reasons NOT to watch TV this Fall

Spudding Out

Why TV Undermines Academics & Values

Newsweek is Bad for Kids

Bowling Alone - The Strange Disappearance of Civic America

TV Legitimizing Torture

The Assault on Reason

Twilight of the Books

Evolution Of Despair

Alzheimer's & TV

Preventing Obesity

Trained to Kill

Mind-altering media

Effects of TV - Before & After

A Powerful, Massive Protest: Diminish the Corporate Media's Power by Turning off Your TV for Good!

5 Ways Parents May Be Sabotaging Their Kids’ Health

Food companies manipulate kids and parents to create lifelong loyal customers

Is an overlooked source of childhood obesity staring us in the face?

Eight Reasons Why TV is Evil

"What most surprised me were the results I got from my study, which found that the more kids are exposed to consumer culture, they likelier they are to become depressed, suffer from anxiety, or experience low self-esteem. I would have thought it was the other way around — that consumer culture was the symptom, not the cause."

TV Limiting Technology

List & Comparison of TV blockers

Token Timer

Power Cop

Play Limit

Power Plug Lock

Time Machine

Eye Timer

TV Be Gone

TV Be Gone - Article

Stanford Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television (SMART) curriculum is being used in California and Michigan. SMART in San Francisco, SMART in Canada