Holly Lebowitz Rossi
September 12, 2011

A new study of 4-year-old children found that just nine minutes spent watching fast-paced shows like the Nickelodeon television program SpongeBob SquarePants can cause short-term learning and attention problems, The Associated Press reports.

The study, which was published online in the journal Pediatrics, was small, researchers caution (only 60 children were involved), so the results should be taken with a grain of salt.  But the findings did show that children who watched SpongeBob scored measurably worse on mental function and impulse control tests than children who either watched the slower-paced PBS program Caillou or drew pictures for nine minutes.

A Nickelodeon spokesperson told the AP that the study was unfair because SpongeBob is made for older kids, 6-11 years old.

(image via: http://spongebob-squarepants.otavo.tv)

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