Michael Rich, md, mph, keynote speaker at the


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Michael Rich, MD, MPH, keynote speaker at the

  • Michael Rich, MD, MPH, keynote speaker at the

  • Media and Healthy Development in Adolescence Conference

  • Hong Kong Baptist University, May 3-6, 2009






Morbidity and Mortality – Then & Now

  • 1900: Infectious disease, cancer



Why is a pediatrician talking about media?

  • 1900: Infectious disease, birth defects, cancer

  • crowded housing, poor sanitation, pollution



Morbidity and Mortality – Then & Now

  • 1900: Infectious disease, cancer

  • Crowded housing, poor sanitation, pollution

  • 2000: Unintended injury, homicide, suicide

  • Obesity, substance use, sexual risk-taking

  • Acquired health risk behaviors

  • Ask youth where they learn them…

  • Entertainment media #1 or #2



Can media affect health?

  • Exposure - Who and how much?

  • Effects - What changes when exposed?

  • Interventions - Can undesired changes be prevented or repaired?



U.S. Media Exposure

  • > 99% of homes have televisions

  • More homes have 5 or more TVs than have 1

  • 51% have TV on “all/almost all of the time”

  • 63% have TV on during meals



Average Time Use, 8-18 year olds



Average Time Use, 8-18 year olds



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Because they are sedentary...?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Why worry about screen time?



Content Matters

  • At 17 years, youth who watched educational TV at ages 3 and 5:

  • Placed more value on achievement

  • Read more books

  • Had higher grades

  • Were more creative

  • Were less aggressive

  • Those who watched entertainment TV when young had lower grades





Exposure to Violence

  • National TV Violence Study, 1995-97: 61% of all programming portrayed violence

  • Young people witness 200,000 acts of violence and 18,000 murders by age 18

  • Of the 33 most popular video games, 21% feature violence against women

  • #1 CD in 2000 featured songs about rape and murder with graphic lyrics and SFX



September 13, 2006



Research has shown that exposure to media violence contributes to

  • Anxiety, fears, nightmares, even PTSD

  • Desensitization

  • Increased aggression



Today, more children are on psychiatric medications than ever before…

  • As we have done with asthma,

  • can we reduce exposure to environmental triggers and decrease or eliminate medication?



  • Natalie Portman, age 11



2.6 times more likely to start smoking in 2 years

  • Natalie Portman, age 11



2.6 times more likely to start smoking in 2 years 2.2 times more likely to become habitual smokers

  • Natalie Portman, age 11



390,000 new smokers every year

  • Natalie Portman, age 11



Media use associated with increased initiation of alcohol use in 9th graders

  • Christina Ricci, age 16



#1 cause of death in adolescents is alcohol-related motor vehicle collisions

  • Christina Ricci, age 16



Body Image





Thinspiration











Video Games













Assault rifles









Sexting





Does Internet Addiction Exist?



Relative health risks



Relative health risks



Relative health risks



Relative health risks



Relative health risks



Today, Media Are a Powerful Environmental Health Influence



Change the Environment





Building on the Evidence Base



CMCH Research





Translating the Research











Media Giving Voice





Build Media Mastery



Center on Media and Child Health

  • Children’s Hospital Boston

  • 300 Longwood Ave.

  • Boston, MA 02115

  • (617) 355-2000




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