• SpongeBob Squarepants Dangerous For Children, Causes Them To Have Poor Attention

    September 13, 2011 4:01 am 47 comments

    This week’s edition of Pediatrics reveals what sensible parents have known all along:  the show SpongeBob Squarepants is a great danger to children.

    With crude humor that rivals children’s cartoon South Park and Family Guy, SpongBob Squarepants is the story about a homosexual sea sponge and his raunch escapades deep under the sea.

    The show is known for having ‘meth moments’, that is, having the high-speed visual effects that are witnessed by a meth addict.  Another show that uses this technique is robot chicken and by no surprise, Nielsen ratings reveal the show’s highest demographic areas involve urban areas with minorities with repeat drug offenses.

    The study found that in a cohort of four-year-olds, watching only a snippet of SpongBob cartoon negatively affected the attention span of those children as compared to another group of four-year-olds exposed to more moral, wholesome shows.

    As reported by NBC News:

    University of Virginia researchers recruited 60 mostly white and middle- or upper-middle-class 4-year-olds and randomly divided them into three groups. One group watched a 9-minute clip of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” a second watched a 9-minute clip of “Caillou,” a realistic PBS cartoon about a preschool boy, and the third drew pictures for 9 minutes instead of watching television.

    Immediately afterward, the researchers tested what psychologists call “executive function” in the children. “What executive function basically measures is your ability to stay on task, to not be distracted and to persist on task,” Christakis explains.

    Turns out the PBS and picture-drawing groups performed equally well on the tests; the SpongeBob group scored significantly worse. Watching a full half-hour fast-paced cartoon show could be even more detrimental, the study authors write.

    Even more terrifying is that watching Spongebob causes children to binge-eat junk foods at a dangerously rapid rate, as compared to children who watch more traditional shows like Veggie Tales and Adventures in Odessey.

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