Friday, December 16, 2011

Open letter to Apple: Ipad advertisements and sleep loss - UPDATE for 2013 Back to School

OK, here we go again! For the record, I personally enjoy my Apple products. 

But, I don't think its responsible to advertise an unhealthy use of the product. Here is another screen capture for the apple home page just in time for back to school.

Turn off your gizmos after sundown. Please!


An open letter to Apple

Dear Apple,

Your company has a reputation for social responsibility. You missed the mark on this one . 

Your recent advertisement for the iPad includes images of teenagers and children staying up at night using the iPad2. Their faces are illuminated with the glow of your excellent product. 

Exposure to light during the nighttime hours reduces melatonin production. It is exactly this type of light exposure that will prevent sleep onset and disrupt sleep through the night. 

Chronic sleep loss and sleep deprivation is a public health problem in this country. As a pediatric neurologist and a sleep specialist, I see children and teens every day who suffer the effects of sleep loss. Sleep fragmentation can cause headaches and poor school performance. Sleep deprivation can affect the type of food you eat and the content the next day. In teens, sleep loss has been linked to obesity.  Did you know that sleep deprivation can lower your seizure threshold? 

As a friend of your products (please dont ban me from the Genius bar), I suggest that you might reconsider this advertisement. It appears to advocate behaviors that are unhealthy and potentially even dangerous for children and teens. 

As a medical student we were all shown advertisements from the 50s with physicians advocating the health benefits of cigarettes. It gave us a good laugh. I am afraid that your advertisement is being copied (disclaimer - for parody, public awareness and educational purposes) by pediatricians right now. I just did.

Dr Josh Rotenberg

Great response from a colleague:

Nice blog post, Joshua! Perfect timing. Perhaps we could send the folks at
Apple the following clip as well:  The iPad is a wonderful device
for sure, but it does need to go night-night, too. :)

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