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Asthma Risk Linked To Early TV Viewing

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the near-the-carpet dept.

Medicine 266

Ponca City, We love you writes "The number of children with asthma has been rising for many years. About 1 in 10 children in the UK develop asthma, compared with about 1 in 25 in the 1960s. The reason for this isn't clear, although several theories have been put forward such as keeping our homes cleaner, and having central heating and more soft furnishings where house dust mites can multiply. Now based on more than 3,000 children whose respiratory health was tracked from birth to 11.5 years of age, researchers have found a new correlation with young children who spend more than two hours glued to the TV every day doubling their subsequent risk of developing asthma. 'This study has shown for the first time a positive association between increased duration of reported TV viewing in early childhood and the development of asthma by 11.5 years of age in children with no symptoms of asthma in early childhood,' said the researchers, led by A. Sherriff, from the University of Glasgow. It's not clear exactly how sedentary behaviors like television watching are tied to asthma, but there is some evidence to suggest exercise and deep breaths that come with it stretch the smooth muscles in the airways, while lack of exercise may make the lungs overly sensitive. The results add asthma to a catalog of undesirable outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, smoking, and promiscuity, tied to TV viewing."

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266 comments

Promiscuity (5, Funny)

BlackusDiamondus (945259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146467)

Wow, so promiscuity is now considered an undesirable outcome? Perhaps from a religious morals point of view...

Re:Promiscuity (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146509)

promiscuity would be an advantagous trait, not a defect. this "research" seems highly suspect.

Re:Promiscuity (4, Funny)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146751)

For an 11-year-old? Um... ok, if you say so.

Re:Promiscuity (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147151)

RTFA.

Re:Promiscuity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147443)

yeah, to a 15 years old mothers they do....right ?

Just unproductive (0, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146561)

What's the point of promiscuity if it doesn't make babies? It might be entertaining for its participants, well, one of them anyway, but it doesn't actually accomplish anything useful. It's just self indulgence.

Re:Just unproductive (2, Insightful)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146591)

What's the point of watching TV if it doesn't make babies? It might be entertaining for its participants, well, some of them anyway, but it doesn't actually accomplish anything useful. It's just self indulgence.

Re:Just unproductive (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146657)

This is about childhood TV watching. Somehow I think you wouldn't want them to have sex in front of the TV.

Re:Just unproductive (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146643)

Newsflash: Promiscuity does often make babies.
"Non-paternity" happens in DNA studies with around 5 to 10% probability, depending on the population. I hear the Brits are the, umm, I was tempted to say worst, but I'd have to say most successful at that.
So this is clearly an evolutionary adaptation.

Re:Just unproductive (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147229)

And even when it doesn't make babies it feels damn good. As for GP's claim that it doesn't do anything useful... maybe for those who have been castrated. If I go a few months without sex I start to go somewhat insane, especially around sexy women. If having sex keeps me from embarrassing myself in front of females I find attractive (but really shouldn't even think about trying to fuck), then it's very useful for me.

Re:Just unproductive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147385)

One of them?

You don't have the same kind of sex that I do...

Re:Promiscuity (3, Insightful)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146571)

beat me to the point...

"promiscuity" being "undesirable" seems in line with the absurd overly-judgmental attitudes toward sex promoted by the far right and the religious zealots

IMO people would be a *lot* better off being taught healthy norms about sex and encouraged to have more healthy sex - instead of the story that it is somehow bad and needs to be restricted, hidden and controlled by shaming people

Re:Promiscuity (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147651)

Actually, promiscuity is simple hedonism - it's empty and leads to a lonely place. The loss of shame leads to many, many social ills. The "if it feels good, do it" philosophy is bunk. The hippies had in mind something that they wanted, and were calling it "freedom," but in the final analysis "freedom" is a purely negative goal. It just says something is bad. Hippies weren't really offering any alternatives other than colorful short-term ones, and some of these were looking more and more like pure degeneracy. Degeneracy can be fun but it's hard to keep up as a serious lifetime occupation.

Re:Promiscuity (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147671)

War is peace, etc... we know.

Re:Promiscuity (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148079)

Hedonism... I think the word does not mean what you think it means.

Promiscuity, as far as I understand it, just means that you change partners. It does not say how often and it does not say in what situations. It therefore also does not say anything about the value of these relationships.
Hedonism is supposed to be a world-view that puts the consumption at the top of one's priorities. It is supposed to be selfish.

That you equate the two shows that you either do not understand their meanings or have, in my opinion, a very unhealthy view on sex.

Re:Promiscuity (3, Funny)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146621)

Just my thought.
I should have watched more TV as a child. Damn.

Re:Promiscuity (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146955)

Wow, so promiscuity is now considered an undesirable outcome? Perhaps from a religious morals point of view...

I'm guessing that it's the outcome you're likely to be able to achieve if you manage to dodge obesity, diabetes, smoking, and too much TV viewing.

Re:Promiscuity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147343)

this just in, life linked to death...

Correlation vs. Causation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146475)

It's an interesting result that certainly warrants further study but IMHO everything about this study just screams "correlation is not causation".

What if healthier kids just enjoy playing outside more? What if healthier parents (who didn't have asthma themselves as children) encourage their kids to play outside more. What about kids in urban environments with high levels of air pollution who don't really have anywhere to go outside to play (without getting shot in a drive-by).

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146623)

Yupe that still means "Hey everyone, look what happens if you don't encourage kids to play outside and you let companies spew whatever they want into the air"

You don't need a cause to take action (as long as that action won't cause worse things to happen). Nothing in life is certain and there's typically very few problems with a root cause nowadays (especially with health)

This whole smart ass retort/meme just needs to go away since everyone hides behind it because they're too lazy to act.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (4, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146673)

Exercise has been proven to reduce Asthma. It can even fix it in adults although it has to be dosed very carefully. There are elite runners (can't remember a name though) who started running to curb their Asthma.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (4, Informative)

Suisho (1423259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146791)

I don't think this is necessarily completely true. I have exercise induced asthma, which, means basically the harder I breathe the more constricted my airways become. >.> But- I was encouraged to do specific breathing exercises (especially as a child), and I did do sports with an excessive amount of medication. I think this might be true for some...but I don't know of any particular studies.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (1)

cosmicwave (1461501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147003)

I suspect I have exercise induced asthma as well, especially in the cold air. I went biking this morning and tried to concentrate on not breathing too shallow or hard, but I still ended up feeling like I couldn't breathe and my chest hurt really bad. Likewise, when I run, I feel enough energy to but I have to stop because of the breathing problems. I'm thinking about getting an inhaler - I don't want it to stop me from working out.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (1)

Suisho (1423259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147137)

Sounds like it- cold air seems to be a common irritant. Webmd has a decent article on it. *shrugs*
I was pretty much born with it (it goes back at least 3 generations and I was dx'ed at 2) so I never got the chance to exercise without it. I have pretty bad asthma too- I was on constant medication for years, and it ended up causing alot of problems due to immunosuppression as a side effect of specific steroids, which at the time was the best was to deal with it.

Exercise and lung capacity was a proverbial nightmare for me- I couldn't run around a t-ball field without using a nebuluizer (the machines which produce a fine medicated myst sort of like a humidifier)- forget the inhalers, they were not strong enough. Hense, I am on slashdot as an adult, and not a gymrat. My inactivity has also made my occurrence of asthma attacks go down, as I am not stressing my lungs out like I did when I was a kid. Resting has produced many benefits- but at the same time, it produces many fallbacks- my air capacity is smaller (so, when I am having trouble breathing, each breath has less air than if I did exercise every day), and the general exhaustion out of shapeness that comes with being a lazy bum.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147117)

There's this rumour that athletes love to have asthma, as the medication seems to be on the banned substances list. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2002/09/27/1032734328641.html

But isn't it all much simpler and everything was already in the story, but they had to drag in the TV in the conclusion?

Where do people usually watch TV? Not outside! They watch it in the clean, central heated living room, on a soft furnished couch with lots of dust mites. DUH!

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147739)

Interesting. Still I wonder if the same finding would persist in sedantary lifestyle that occurred outdoors, say on the beach. It could be that the outgassing of materials/plastics/shower curtains inside the home creates asthmatic inducing conditions.
Just wondering.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (1)

Bootarn (970788) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147277)

I have a theory.

Scientists say that there is a correlation between growing up in a relatively dust-free environment and developing asthma. Kids who are playing outside are exposed to dust and don't become hypersensitive to it, whereas kids who spend much time in front of the TV are rarely exposed to outside dust, and so they develop asthma.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (3, Insightful)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147625)

everything about this study just screams "correlation is not causation".

I think what scream loudest in this case is that you are uncomfortable with the implications; perhaps there are things in your lifestyle you don't want to change?

Taken in isolation this kind of study does seem a little bizarre, and the way it is presented in the popular media doesn't help either, when it is reported as if it was a kind of joke. However, it is part of a growing trend that seems to indicate that a lot of illnesses are actually lifestyle diseases, and there is growing evidence that one common factor is inflammation - or the presence of certain indicators of inflammation, I should say. Inflammation seems to lie behind such things as atherosclerosis, insulin resistence, and of course it is known to a major symptom in asthma. The adipose tissues of obese people seem to be the seat of low-level inflammation too, or something very similar. Now, I don't know about you, but when I see all these things together, I don't think it is all that unlikely that sitting in front of the telly instead of getting up and about actually is a major causative factor in these lifestyle diseases, asthma included.

It is also well-known that exercise actually is a very effective way of lowering the levels of inflammation in places where you don't want it - perhaps because exercise actually causes low-level damage to muscles and connective tissue; this sort of draws the attention of the body's repair system away from the places where it is not actually supposed to be. Inflammation is an important part of the repair system, which is why muscles get sore from exercise.

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (3, Funny)

Tellarin (444097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147673)

So you took the same course as this guy?
http://www.xkcd.com/552/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Correlation vs. Causation (4, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147963)

Lazy parents who use the TV as a baby sitter for hours on end are also likely to be lazy when it comes to preparing healthy meals and resort to take away meals and junk food snacks. Also children that suffer from asthma are likely to prefer less arduous activities, like watching TV, in order to reduce the risk of an attack.

As for the growth in asthma, increasing levels of exotic pollutants (that generate hormonal reactions in people) plus the effects of junk food consumption during pregnancy are the most likely the culprits.

Feeding neuro stimulant so called 'flavour enhancers' to unborn children is most likely not the brightest idea in the world and maybe the future health of an unborn generation should be put ahead of the profits of junk food and chemical additive manufacturers.

Repeat after me: (0, Redundant)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146487)

"Correlation does not imply causation!"

Re:Repeat after me: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146517)

See http://xkcd.com/552 [xkcd.com]

Make sure you hover over the comic...

Hi Groklaw reader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146705)

:)

Re:Repeat after me: (0, Redundant)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146541)

"Correlation does not imply causation!"

I'm not so sure about that. [xkcd.com]

No doubt the rug rats are inhaling too much carpet dander and scotch guard.

Re:Repeat after me: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146585)

But it does! I think what you meant to say is it does not equal causation. Which however is a completely redundant remark.

Re:Repeat after me: (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146697)

See my post above. The causation has been known for a long time. Exercise reduces and can fix Asthma.

Re:Repeat after me: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147337)

That still does not mean that watching TV causes asthma. If what you state is true, then lack of exercise does. As so often happens, it is actually an EXTERNAL factor (exercise) that links the two. Which actually proves my point: the correlation does not imply that one caused the other. Something else did.

Damnit, modders! (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146749)

Can you at least look at the goddamned timestamp before modding something as "redundant"?? Mine was the second comment in this whole thread!

Re:Damnit, modders! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146787)

They've modded first on-topic posts redundant before.

I'd already be happy if modders could at least read and understand the post and context before modding.

Re:Damnit, modders! (3, Insightful)

saiha (665337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146881)

"Correlation does not imply causation" is said in every topic that has any type of statistics. So while this may have been the first post about it in this topic, its quite redundant.

The correlation coefficient is simply a tool.

Re:Damnit, modders! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147029)

It should be said in most topics that involve statistics. Because when it isn't, people start saying crazy crap like "they have proved that X causes Y", even though it simply isn't so.

It isn't "redundant" unless it's been stated more than once, and if I was the first one to state it, then my comment wasn't redundant.

Re:Damnit, modders! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147043)

And then there's the fact that a statistically significant correlation most certainly does imply causation. It's just that the correlation doesn't show which is the cause and which the effect, or if indeed they have any effect on each other: a correlation could be the result of the two measured statistical deviances being caused by a third factor.

Sorry... but overuse of the "correlation does not imply causation" phrase is probably my biggest slashdot pet peeve... probably far more annoying than trolls (to be sure, I do accept that my annoyance may have been fed by trolls overusing the phrase and my mistaking trolling for actual condescending ass-hats.)

To Anonymous: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147077)

Maybe the reason you see it so much is because you are wrong. So there is no point in getting irritated about it.

Correlation -- all by itself -- most definitely does NOT imply causation. I don't give a damn if the correlation coefficient is 1.0. There is a very strong possibility that some outside influence is the cause of BOTH events.

Re:To Anonymous: (1)

wish bot (265150) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147283)

A strong possibility, eh?

But according to you, Correlation does not imply Causation!!!

Re:To Anonymous: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147413)

Absolutely. See the example above, where someone posted that lack of exercise may be the actual cause of asthma in these cases.

If we presume that this is correct (and perhaps it is), then indeed, the strong correlation between watching TV and asthma does NOT imply causation at all, on either side. It turns out that BOTH watching television AND asthma are only linked through a third, entirely external factor: exercise.

Now, one could say that watching TV too much will reduce your exercise time. On the other hand, it is probably just as valid to say that people who do not exercise find something else to fill the time, and that something is often TV. Which causes the other? Your guess.

But we do know now that watching TV does not cause asthma, nor does asthma cause watching TV. The correlation did NOT imply causation. Q.E.D.

Re:Damnit, modders! (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146825)

Can you at least look at the goddamned timestamp before modding something as "redundant"?? Mine was the second comment in this whole thread!

You must be new here.

Re:Damnit, modders! (-1, Flamebait)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147055)

No, I'm not new here... I'm just extremely tired of the constant bullshit. And this is one kind of that bullshit.

Re:Damnit, modders! (-1, Flamebait)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147187)

Jesus, yet ANOTHER case of asshole modding. I suppose whoever it was thought I was saying that YOU were full of bullshit or something. Do they even read these things?

Re:Damnit, modders! (1)

JunkmanUK (909293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147325)

Oh man - and I've just been given mod points... Ok, how should the last post be modded? We don't have a 'disgruntled' category...

Have some coffee and read some Cyanide and Happiness. It's too early to be going crazy over slashdot...

(running internal book on what this will be modded as)

Re:Damnit, modders! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147361)

I'm not actually angry, and I have plenty of Karma points. I just really am tired of all the crap around here and thought I'd voice my opinion.

And another. (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147439)

Do you guys really want to keep doing this? You aren't proving anything.

Re:Damnit, modders! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147981)

Just exactly how doesn't a comment that is posted to every goddamn science story not deserve to be modded "redundant"? It's the fucking model of redundancy, you drooling idiot.

Does not add up (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146501)

Something tells me that an obese smoker with asthma and diabetes isn't going to be successfully promiscuous. At least not with others.

Re:Does not add up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146547)

Well, I'm a smoker, and technically obese... I do very well with the ladies though - primarily though because I'm filthy stinking rich and have a REALLY nice sports car.

Bollocks. (5, Funny)

tpgp (48001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146699)

I'm filthy stinking rich and have a REALLY nice sports car.

You know, most of the filthy rich sports car owners I know:

1) Don't sit round big noting themselves on Slashdot.
2) Don't refer to their sports car as a "really nice sports car", but rather something more specific like "a 1967 Jaguar E-type coupe".

I am prepared to believe that you're a smoker & obese.

Re:Bollocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146743)

It's a custom 1985 El-Camino with the steering and pedals extended back to the truck bed and reinforced shocks. It's really sweet. BTW, I'm rich _because_ I'm fat. You heard about that lawsuit that put Burger Chef out of business? Me. My milkshake brings all the girls to the yard.

Re:Bollocks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146779)

We all know your full of shit. Slashdot is full of computer geeks. Not car geeks.

Re:Bollocks. (1)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147025)

Yeah maybe... I'm a car nut. But i'm also practical and my budget only allow me a "car as a tool" kind of car. So the only 3 things I can tell about it is:
-it start all the time
-it's blue
-It fits all my stuff without drama

But while I can state by head all the revision of the engine available for an Alpine 310 V6. I don't even know the capacity or the power output of mine. Just that it really don't use a lot.
(also, that "parking brake instead of a clutch pedal" thing is utter stupidity)

So, how come you read Groklaw? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146713)

So, how come you read Groklaw?

subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146511)

There's no a-priori reason why TV or video-games shouldn't be bad for the health. Yet, on /. it seems that anything condemning these is instincively attacked.

Even William Penn critisized the ready availability of *books* for the destructiion of children's imagination.

Of course, I don't think we've lost our imaginative capabilities; however, it seems clear that, compared to cultures without written language, we certainly have impoverished memories.

Let's just admit that being sedentary, which we are, is bad for us.

Also, exposing our human wet-ware to violence, constantly, is also, most likely, bad for us. It doesn't "make us violent," but it does desensitise us to the violence.

Ah well. Sleep calls.

Re:subject (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146565)

it's not REAL violence, that's the problem with your statement. a few pixels exploding in doom is nothing like a real gun shot, it's like comparing the violence in a paper cut to someone being hacked apart and their blood splattering you.

you know what else, a recent study showed tubby nerds lived longer than athletic types, so a certain amount of sedentary life style isn't bad for you. for one our immune systems are stronger because exercise weakens it, we don't get the sporting injuries, we don't get all the sun exposure either.

Re:subject (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146991)

As a slightly lard-oriented computer professional ('tubby nerd') I'd like to see this study before I do too much more exercise in an effort to lose weight...

Re:subject (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147175)

google "slightly overweight people live longer". basicly they found being slightly overweight was better for you than being under weight or being obese.

What? (1)

crumbz (41803) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146519)

From the summary "undesirable outcomes. . . smoking, and promiscuity, . . . [and] TV viewing."

Wait, these are bad things?

Re:What? (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146559)

From the summary "undesirable outcomes. . . smoking, and promiscuity, . . . [and] TV viewing."

Wait, these are bad things?

The summary states "tied to TV viewing". Don't know about you, but that sounds pretty bad to me!

undesirable outcomes (1)

CesiumFrog (41314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146523)

Where is the study showing that TV causes promiscuity that is undesirable?

Computers (3, Interesting)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146525)

Presumably (as far as Asthma goes) the same applies to sitting in front of computers/sitting playing handheld games like the DS. Though it would be interesting to know whether that carries the same correlations with the other undesirable outcomes.

Fuck a ta3o (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146569)

part of GNNA if Reciprocating bad could sink your of an admittedly

That's not all... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146583)

it also causes acne, tight underwear, and a disturbing tendency to become Republican.

mod^ up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146633)

by simple fuck1ng rivalry. While In addition, clearly. There a change to

Filthy carpets (3, Interesting)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146661)

In another scientific article researchers link filthy carpets in the living room to asthma, but for some reason that article never made the headlines...

Re:Filthy carpets (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146703)

But there is no correlation between families with filthy carpets, and families that watch TV.

Thank you. (1)

American Terrorist (1494195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146671)

This is their bullshit excuse for fucking up the world's air quality. "See, it's not all the coal power plants and diesel trucks, you're watching too much TV!" Did the researchers stop to think that maybe the undiagnosed asthmatics were watching more TV because they didn't like exercising too much because it hurt?

Re:Thank you. (2, Interesting)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147347)

I don't quite see what poor air quality has to do with it. Air quality in the 1960's was nothing to get excited about. In first world countries air quality has generally improved quite a lot since then.

In fact, I'm tempted to think the opposite. An overly sterile environment has been theorized to repress childhood immune systems, causing them to become overly sensitized to pollens, dust, etc.

This is their bullshit excuse for fucking up the world's air quality. "See, it's not all the coal power plants and diesel trucks, you're watching too much TV!"

Breathing causes Asthma (5, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146683)

100% of people who don't breath don't have Asthma.

Re:Breathing causes Asthma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148021)

And 100% of people who have asthma breath air.

The Golden Rule (1)

Suisho (1423259) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146725)

Correlation does NOT equal causation.

Re:The Golden Rule (1)

saiha (665337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146899)

And red does not equal stop sign. If people (people who actually do statistics) thought they were the same then it would be causation coefficient.

Causation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146729)

http://xkcd.com/552/

See that...then run an ANOVA, *then* take another look at cause of respiratory problems.

A more obvious association.. (2, Interesting)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146733)

Seems to me that time spent inside the home is the more likely culprit than viewed television hours, and that a higher rate of television viewing leads to an increased amount of time spent inside the home.

Re:A more obvious association.. (1)

jacquems (610184) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147185)

I would argue that it's also possible that a preference for staying indoors is correlated with undiagnosed asthma. Especially when the weather is hot and humid, it can be very unpleasant for a child with asthma to play outside. Kids would very likely prefer to stay inside their climate-controlled house, where they're more comfortable.

Re:A more obvious association.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148063)

Bear in mind this is a UK study. It's hardly ever too hot and humid to play outside -- in fact, the warmest summer months are when we generally try and spend as much time as possible outside (there's a lot of daylight too, sunset at 9pm is more reason to find things to do outside).

Also, I've never seen air conditioning in a house here.

Re:A more obvious association.. (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147303)

Good point. As the article states "The amount of time spent in front of the box was used as a proxy measure of sedentary behaviour, because personal computers and games consoles were not in widespread use at the time (mid 1990s)".

Re:A more obvious association.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148057)

My guess is they tracked whether the TV watching was indoors or outdoors, and found that location wasn't a significant factor.

Yes, I'm kidding.

well... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27146805)

the other way to look at this is that kids with asthma spend time in front of the tv since running around outside may kill them

oh no... (1)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146841)

Even though this study raises a lot more questions than answers, I can still hear the horde of TV apologists starting their stampede now...

(Well, once the commercials come on, anyway.)

Day proven not to be cause of night.Released (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146973)

Judge's ruling sends shockwaves around the world.

In an upset in controversial case Day walked out of court a free person, vows to seek the real cause of night.

Youtube, Blogspot, and slashdot overwhelmed.

-- seriously, many side effects to environmental poisons caused by our rapid growth in technology are still being worked out. Its not that I am calling for any sort of slowdown, but we should not say we are done fixing it and that includes both Eco-friendly tech and more effective production methods.

12 hours outside plus 3 hours TV... (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146975)

Well, depending on the day of the week (and weather) during the day, I was either outside for 10 to 12 hours, or in school followed by outside time, then about 3 hours TV in the evening. No asthma.

Though I suppose all that outside activity had something to with with that.

Hmm... (4, Insightful)

claybugg (1496827) | more than 5 years ago | (#27146985)

What about sitting still in a desk at school for hours each day?

Slight correction... (1)

sixteenbitsamurai (1070810) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147001)

The results add asthma to a catalog of undesirable outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, smoking, and promiscuity, tied to excessive TV viewing.

This seems more accurate.

computrons proven to cause Nerdism in children (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147261)

Exposure to raw code unfiltered by properly licensed Vista has medically proven cases of Nerdism, Torvalds's syndrome [Linux], and worst of all Advanced Dibley ectmorphia [Duane Dibley] [youtube.com] if bitten by a emohawk

Makes Perfect Sense (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147289)

It's so obvious that it's almost not worth having spent research money on it, but somebody has to prove even the obvious scientifically.

It's a good, solid result: kids with asthma sit around inside a lot (by choice or parental "concern") and so watch a lot of TV.

They wouldn't dare try to make the claim in the other direction, since it would be so easy for them to compare with kids that had the same condition but sat inside reading or doing other things instead of watching TV.

If TV caused all these problems, I'd be a mess. I spent much of my adolescence and early adulthood in my dad's TV shop. We had several to many TVs running constantly in the showroom, and several "cooking" (running to see if the repair worked) on the workbench. We had 4 TVs in the house, one of them always on, and I had one of the first car cigarette lighter powered portable, so I could watch TV even when I went out. If these awful TV-rays that cause all these problems really exist, I should be dead a couple times already. But there's nothing wrong with me that can be attributed to TV. Well, except for some visual oddities: "Everybody's made out of little thin lines. Sometimes their fingers are blue. Mine are too." -- Mike Nesmith, "Tonight", from Elephant Parts

Don't buy some of it. (2, Interesting)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147893)

I don't think that researchers understand the difference between causation and correlation.

I'll buy that watching a lot of tv can lead to someone being overweight. After all, how many of use use a treadmill while watching our "stories." I'll buy that not exercising can have other outcomes such as (stretching it) asthma. Not working those lunges may indeed lead to problems for kids. But, this is hardly a conclusive study. Where's all the testing on the tissues themselves. Where ruling out other factors such as diet, air quality, etc? I know we got some of that tissue around that the lab guys can do tests on and while following people around for over a decade, it's hard to believe that they couldn't have noticed living conditions.

But, obesity, diabetes, smoking and (especially) promiscuity?!?!? Bullshit. One must be susceptible to get diabetes and the TV cannot make one not exercise and smoke. And promiscuity?!?! PROMISCUITY?!?!? Perhaps these guys should get out of the lab and see just how many parents are NOT parenting there kids.

Jesus christ. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

Brainless research (3, Interesting)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27147941)

OK no seriously now WTF. There's not a day without a health news story talking about some weird correlation between two factors that are obviously not directly related. What's a researcher these days, someone who gathers a whole bunch of data, looks for all the statistical correlation they can find and publish a paper as soon as they find "something", without using an ounce of critical thinking? It surely is how it sounds like.

"So we took a whole bunch of people, alright, we asked them a whole bunch of random questions about their weight, their diet, their asthma, their TV watching habits, then we cross plotted them, let the computer program give us a correlation index and the one with the strongest correlation was asthma vs TV so we wrote a paper about it. As to the whyness of this correlation, meh, we don't really know, nor did we bother to establish a few hypothesises like "oh maybe it's due to socio-economic conditions i.e. poor people watch more TV and live in houses with asbestos hey let's try and find out", nah, we just care about writing a paper and making it buzz for all it's worth cause it's gonna look good on our CVs and you know it's going to work because people love senseless sensationalist drivel like "new research shows that learning to play the violin will make you live 6 years longer!" or "can eating pineapple make you gain IQ points?"."

THIS is why correlation!=causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27147953)

There is no reason for a link given, so it IS only assuming that the correlation means there IS a causation, if only they could think of one.

However, that meme is used a lot where there IS a causation possiblity and the correlation existing shows that there is a likelihood the causation is correct. If there is a causation possiblity but NO correlation, then the causation is wrong or missing something much more important.

But that latter case is NOT a reason to parrot out "correlation!=causation". This would be "causation gives correlation".

Hmmmmm..... (2, Informative)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148035)

" The results add asthma to a catalog of undesirable outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, smoking, and promiscuity, tied to TV viewing."

Ok..... obesity, diabetes, and smoking I can definitely find true. Promiscuity, sort of, but only in the sense that it leads to a lack of knowledge about reality and people learning social norms through Big Media and Hollywood.

Asthma, on the other hand, would require a whole hell of a lot more evidence, study, and explaination than simply correlation.

Or Does Over-Use of Anti-Biotics Cause Asthma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27148083)

And which parents are going to take their kids to the doctor every time they get a cold?

That would be the same overly-protective, doting parents that let their kids sit in the house and watch TV all day.

So, does watching TV cause Asthma, as the article suggests, or are extensive TV-watching and Asthma both the result of another factor?

I declare the single largest cause of asthma... (0, Flamebait)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27148119)

...to be poor parenting.

Get your lazy kid out of the freaking house, and make him/her run around and exercise those lungs. Force them to draw deep breaths, repeatedly. Make the lungs work and grow strong. Of course if you sit like a freaking lump, your lungs are weak. You ass-hats !
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