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Asthma Risk Linked To Early TV Viewing 266

Posted by kdawson
from the near-the-carpet dept.
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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Asthma Risk Linked To Early TV Viewing

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  • Re:Repeat after me: (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @02:05AM (#27146517)

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

    Make sure you hover over the comic...

  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @02:30AM (#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.

  • by Suisho (1423259) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @02:53AM (#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.
  • Hmmmmm..... (Score:3, Informative)

    by IHC Navistar (967161) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @06:38AM (#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.

  • by DrProton (79239) on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @07:56AM (#27148463)

    I had the same thought. More time outside the home also exposes the child to more dirt, more bacteria, and more of the tiny little worms out there. The beneficial effect of this exposure is known as the hygiene hypothesis. Kids who grow up on farms and poor people living off the land don't get asthma and a whole host of immune system disorders. There was a recent article by Jane Brody in the New York Times [nytimes.com] about the hygiene hypothesis.

    Basically, a little dirt is good for you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @09:03AM (#27148945)

    That's why the study says "link" and not "cause". The study is reporting a correlation and a correlation is something that indicates further study would be nice.

    For example: Let's say you find what looks to be a similar bug in two different spots of code but you know that the code path doesn't go through both. Maybe you should be looking at a point where the code paths intersect or overlap instead of saying "Correlation is not causation therefore these two things are not connected even though I can demonstrate some link between the two."

  • Re:Promiscuity (Score:3, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 11, 2009 @12:05PM (#27151835) Homepage Journal

    I think even a little common sense would show that kids need to be outside playing, and getting exercise that comes naturally from that!!

    There are counterexamples. For instance, when smog is high, it's best to try to use your lungs as little as possible (I'm not kidding.) Exercise will do more harm than good. Don't go jogging in Los Angeles when the wind is blowing strongly onshore, you'll be sucking enough Chinese pollution to undo any good work you've done. The same thing was happening from Los Angeleno pollution, except worse; kids were getting lesions on their lungs and coughing up blood due to breathing LA's toxic debt. However, the CARB took all kinds of drastic air pollution-reduction measures which the citizenry largely hated, and actually saved the say (until China started to industrialize en masse.)

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