At least, the mix isn’t particularly good for the teen. The University of Minnesota School of Public Health finds that 15-18 year olds with a television set in their bedroom watch more, eat less well, drink more sugar, exercise less and see their grades at school suffer. Perhaps surprisingly, however, the TV-owning teens somehow managed to dodge the obesity bullet, usually a direct result of the double whammy of sedentary activity levels combined with poor dietary habits.
According to a Reuters report on the study, 62% of 15-18 year olds have a bedroom television, and as a result indulge in five additional hours of weekly viewing over that watched by the 38% without a bedroom TV. Girls were more likely to let the additional viewing knock down exercise time, while boys were more likely to let it knock down their grades.
The study also found ethnic differences: 82% of black teens reported a bedroom TV, compared to 66% of Hispanics, 60% of whites and 39% of Asian Americans.
RBR/TVBR observation: Wouldn’t it be great if watchdogs were howling about the unhealthy contribution radio listening is making to members of this same youthful age group? Somehow, some way, radio is going to have to cultivate this new generation of potential listeners. Otherwise, there will be no such thing as a contemporary format, and we’ll watch other formats disappear off the dial as each constituency inevitably checks into the local graveyard. Nostalgia/Standards will go away, followed by Golden Oldies, Classic Rock, Classic Hits, then whatever they decide to call 80s and 90s retrospectives. And that’ll be it.