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Kids Turn Issues

Are you a Mouse Potato?

Mouse Potato According to a 2000 study from Grunwald Associates, the number of 2-17 year olds online in the US has tripled to 25 million since 1997, when 8 million children and teenagers had Internet access.

Parents are motivated to buy PCs and get Internet access because they believe their children will benefit educationally from using the Internet.

About 46 percent of all family homes now have Internet access, but by 2005, more children will go online at school than at home

While there are some great benefits to being online there are also some pitfalls.

Inactivity in children is increasing. Obesity rates in children have doubled over the past 30-years. The American Obesity Association shows 25% of school children are overweight. Twice as many as 20-years-ago.

Television has always been noted as a reason for kids inactivity. Now, you can add video games, computers and Internet activities to that equation.

New research on Internet usage among teens and young adults in 16 countries shows that American youth spend more time online than kids elsewhere do. Overall, about two-thirds (64%) of the 10,000 teenagers and young adults with home Internet access surveyed by Ipsos-Reid said their parents set neither curfews nor time limits.

These results come from Ipsos-Reid's The Face of the Web: Youth a 16-country study of Internet users between the ages of 12 and 24.

"Watching TV, playing video games, listening to music and surfing the Internet have become a full-time job for the typical American child," says Drew Altman, Ph.D., president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Inactivity can turn into serious health problems. Being overweight during childhood can lead to obesity in adulthood, which is a risk factor for serious diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, researchers say.

Definitely something to think about if you think you are online too much. Maybe it's time to shut off the computer for a while. Get outside and exercise, even if it's just to go for a walk. The Internet will be here when you get back.

Topics | Social Issues