William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Government First Encouraged, Now Wants To Reduce Screen Time For Kids—Guest Post by the Blonde Bombshell

Citizen's at the release of Apple's new i-whatitz 12.7.

Citizen’s at the release of Apple’s new i-whatitz 12.7.

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has been released, and is open for public comment. Allegedly, public comment is open until April 8, 2015, but the website claims that comments were closed on December 30, 2014 (see the last line of the page). Incompetence or clever legerdemain?

Among other things, the report is very concerned about how much time that children and youth are spending in front of screens (defined as “television and other types of media”). From the report:

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than 2 hours a day of screen time (including television and other types of media) for children ages 2 years and older and none for children younger than age 2 years. However, children ages 8 to 18 years spend an average of 7 hours on screen time each day.

Very young children should not be consuming any electronic media at all, and the AAP is being very generous with suggesting 2 hours a day. What is remarkable is that school-aged children are in front of glowing screens for 7 hours a day. Only 7 hours? The report is not clear if the 7 hours include in-school screen time.

In the last quarter century, the cry has been that that “computers in the classroom” were “essential to learning” and to “prepare students for the workplace”—even though up to about 1978 there were virtually no computers in any K-12 institution. Today many children tote around a school-issued tablet. Children are wired practically from the moment they wake up, and this is the result of government meddling and indulgent parenting. Now that the monster has been created, the experts are busy creating “interventions” to reduce screen time. More from the report:

Multifaceted interventions to reduce recreational sedentary screen time may include home, school, neighborhood, and pediatric primary care settings, and emphasize parental, family, and peer-based social support, coaching or counseling sessions, and electronic tracking and monitoring of the use of screen-based technologies.

This is the native tongue of the educrat. To suggest “electronic tracking and monitoring” as a serious solution is a blatant abdication of responsibility and a clarion call to passivity.

One way guaranteed to slash the dreaded screen time in half is to order the students to turn their school-issued tablets and other devices to the proper authorities. Another way is that mom or dad can put it away the device until certain chores are done. Moms and dads (at least those of another generation) were not burdened by having to coach or counsel their progeny when switching off the TV when the Saturday-morning cartoons droned on past noon. “No,” is a pretty good intervention strategy.

The problem that “reducing screen time” is supposed to resolve is obesity, as well as a host of other health problems, such as diabetes and cancer. It doesn’t follow that children and youth with reduced screen times will be running around outside.

Especially since some municipalities have criminalized unattended children. There will be fewer kids walking to school, and walking to the library after school.

What used to be gym class—where actual running around took place—has been overtaken by “health” class, where one would think that students would learn how important it is to wash their hands, eat broccoli, and run around outside. Instead, “health” is code for “sex” where students can learn about contraception and various ways to pervert the regular course of nature.

The government created this sorry state of affairs, but given enough money and time, they can create even greater problems. To address (alas, never to be solved) these new-found problems will require time, money, and a special commission.

5 Comments

  1. Or we could just take away all the gizmos. Teach kids how to add with their fingers. Make them do book reports. Kick them out of the house a few hours a day when its nice out. And simply keep all that sex stuff out of school.

    Course, it may make it more difficult for a certain political party to influence obedience to the party line, but at least the kids would grow up healthy.

  2. I am happy you have posted this.

    Unfortunately it goes much further. ‘Intervention’ is not just for the kiddies. Hospitals to begin monitoring your credit card purchases to flag ‘unhealthy’ habits

    What you buy at the grocery store, where you live, and even your membership status at the local gym are all subject to a new data collection scheme by the American medical system. Reports indicate that hospitals and doctors’ offices all across the country are now collecting this and other personal information in order to target individuals deemed to have “unhealthy” lifestyle habits that put them at high risk of disease.

    Bloomberg reports that hospital systems in both North and South Carolina as well as Pennsylvania have already begun tracking people’s food-purchasing habits by spying on them through public records and credit card transactions. Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), which operates some 900 care centers throughout the Carolinas, has teamed up with a data-mining company to compile and track this information for the later purpose of calling “high-risk” folks and urging them to make a change.

    “What we are looking to find are people before they end up in trouble,” stated Michael Dulin, chief clinical officer for analytics and outcomes at CHS, to Bloomberg. “The idea is to use big data and predictive models to think about population health and drill down to the individual levels to find someone running into trouble that we can reach out to and try to help out.”….
    http://www.naturalnews.com/046404_hospitals_credit_card_purchases_monitoring.html

  3. Gail,
    You are absolutely correct. The “dietary guidelines” report runs well over 500 pages and there trap doors and cracks on every page that will let the government into every facet of your life. Unhand those cheezy bits. Step away from the television. (The lack of television watchers is causing problems for broadcasters and advertisers—-wait for the govt mandate that a certain threshold of hours must be met per day.)

    Hurry! Comment period ends April 8. (Note: comment period should be as long as it took to write the report in the first place. I doubt that a legion of bureaucrats could have cranked out this tome in 45 days.)

  4. “…various ways to pervert the regular course of nature.”

    I think that’s also called medicine in some quarters. 😉

  5. But… but… I thought they were going to do away with antique learning aids like books and blackboards and teachers and give every child an iPad?

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