I wrote about a Cornell University study that linked autism and the amount of TV watched by young children. Now there is a British study that not only suggests the same link, it also suggests that TV interferes with the production of the hormone melatonin. The study claims that this affects the immune system, the sleep cycle, and the onset of puberty.
I have no way of judging the validity of the study and I'm sure that there will be follow-up studies that will test these results. However, if true, there's no question that this will have an impact on the animation industry.
Canada has specialized in production for the pre-school TV niche. World-wide, there are many cable channels that are aimed at pre-schoolers and many media conglomerates that make a measurable portion of their profits from that audience.
I'll be watching for further studies and the media responses to this issue. As I mentioned previously, I'm curious to see if the children's television industry starts to behave like the tobacco companies or the oil industry. I'm sure that nobody ever expected cartoons to present the same health threat as lung cancer and global warming.