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Senators Push for Research into Tech Impact on Kids

The bipartisan backers of a bill that would direct the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of technology and media consumption on children aren't waiting around for that bill to pass.

They say there is an urgent need to to start investigating how tech is impacting kids and teens increasingly living their lives online.

Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) have written the director of the NIH out that the 2020 Appropriations Act that passed last year "encourages" NIH to prioritize the study of how widespread use of tech and consumption of digital media "affect young people's cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional outcomes, including attention, sleeping routines, and anxiety.”

Their bill, the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, which would authorize the NIH to led such a study, but in the letter to NIH they were looking speed the process given that appropriations bill language.

"As the largest funder of biomedical research in the world, the NIH has an important role to play in catalyzing and conducting critical research into how technology use and digital media consumption relate to and influence social awareness, problem solving skills, exercise, and other important outcomes," they wrote.