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Senate Wants Study on Media, Child Development

The U.S. Senate passed a bill Wednesday mandating a study to examine the effects of screen media - TV, computers and video games - on kids.

The Children and Media Research Advancement Act is sponsored, among others, by Senators Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn.; Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y.; and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., reports AdWeek. It would establish a research program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grants would be issued over six years to researchers to examine the impact of media on children's social, cognitive and physical development.

Passage of the bill comes as advocacy groups are pressing lawmakers and regulators to curb interactive ads that push junk food, even as childhood obesity rates are soaring. A separate bill before the Senate would place a ban on links to commercial matter in kids programming and during ad breaks.

Groups like the Association of National Advertisers oppose such limits and argue that they would restrict media innovation.

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