Apple Investors Think Cell Phone Use In Kids Is A Public Health Crisis—Here's Why

Photo: Curtis Kim

Ever feel like health news is too overwhelming, fast-paced, or hard to decipher? Us too. Here, we filter through the latest in integrative health, wellness trends, and nutrition advice, reporting on the most exciting and meaningful breakthroughs. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know—and how it might help you become a healthier and happier human.

In our "2018 Health & Wellness Trends to Watch," mindbodygreen predicted that this year, big technology will become the next big tobacco. Smartphone addition is surging on Google trends, and research is showing when we're on more social media platforms, we experience more stress. We all know that young people are particularly susceptible to changes in brain chemistry, and this fact creates major concern over screen time for children and teenagers.

The next question we must ask is: How can we monitor the effects of technology on mental health? And what is a safe amount of screen time for children? What about for adults? Sadly, the answers to most of these questions remain unanswered, which is why two major Apple investors are calling on the company to spend more of their time and money finding answers.

In a letter to Apple, Jana Partners LLC, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (also known as CalSTRS)—they control about $2 billion of Apple shares—call youth phone addiction a growing public health crisis and urge Apple to make it easier for parents to control their children's screen time and to fund studies that would reveal the true consequences of smartphone use on mental health. This is all in response to predicted future backlash and demand for more socially responsible investing—as health care professionals, parents, and consumers wise up about how much they should be using their phone, and technology in general, each day.

This is just one example of this wellness trend coming to life. As we move through 2018, we'll likely see many more big technology companies reflecting on their impact on the mental and physical health of consumers of all ages. We hope that they rise to the challenge!

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