I remember one of my friend telling me how happy she was to have cut down TV viewing because her children were not so demanding any more...
Before, when watching TV everyday for eventually few hours, they had so many needs and never seem to be satisfied, after, with very little TV viewing, their minds were to busy playing to have time to think about consuming :-)
Here is an interesting abstract:
Effects of Reducing Television Viewing on Children's Requests for Toys: A Randomized Controlled Trial
an abstract from the Journal of Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics 22:179-184, 2001.
THOMAS N. ROBINSON, M.D., M.P.H. Division of General Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, and Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
MELISSA NICHOLS SAPHIR, Ph.D. Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
HELENA C. KRAEMER, Ph.D. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
ANN VARADY, M.S. K. FARISH HAYDEL Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California
Abstract. Previous attempts to reduce the effects of television advertising on children's purchase requests have had little success. Therefore, we tested the effects of a classroom intervention to reduce television, videotape, and video game use on children's toy purchase requests, in a school-based randomized controlled trial. Third- and fourth-grade children (mean age, 8.9 years) in two sociodemographically and scholastically matched public elementary schools were eligible to participate. Children in one randomly selected elementary school received an 18-lesson, 6-month classroom curriculum to reduce television, videotape, and video game use. In both schools, in September (before intervention) and April (after intervention) of a single school year, children and parents reported children's prior week's purchase requests for toys seen on television. After intervention, children in the intervention school were significantly less likely to report toy purchase requests than children in the control school, with adjusting for baseline purchase requests, gender, and age (odds ratio, 0.29; 95% confidence interval, 0.12-0.69). Among intervention school children, reductions in self-reported purchase requests were also associated with reductions in television viewing. There was no significant difference between schools in parent reports of children's requests for toy purchases. These findings suggest that reducing television viewing is a promising approach to reducing the influences of advertising on children's behavior. J Dev Behav Pediatr 22:179-184, 2001. Index terms: television, media, advertising, consumerism, children, toys.