As long as I can remember, I have been hearing about how the Asian nations will eventually dominate the world economy because Asian students are so far advanced in their studies compared to the American kids who don't take their studies nearly as serious. But this story points out the underlying problem with turning children into robots who study day and night to claw their way to the front of the curve. This is downright scary. I'd even call it abuse.
Up to 90% of school leavers in major Asian cities are suffering from myopia - short-sightedness - a study suggests.
Researchers say the "extraordinary rise" in the problem is being caused by students working very hard in school and missing out on outdoor light.
The scientists told the Lancet that up to one in five of these students could experience severe visual impairment and even blindness.
In the UK, the average level of myopia is between 20% and 30%...
Professor Morgan argues that many children in South East Asia spend long hours studying at school and doing their homework. This in itself puts pressure on the eyes, but exposure to between two and three hours of daylight acts as a counterbalance and helps maintain healthy eyes...
Cultural factors also seem to play a part. Across many parts of South East Asia, children often have a lunchtime nap. According to Professor Morgan they are missing out on prime light to prevent myopia.
"Children suffer from a double whammy in South East Asia," says Professor Morgan.
"As a result of massive educational pressures and the construction of a child's day, the amount of time they spend outside in bright light is minimised."
So parents are best to find a balance between academics and sports and other outside activities for their children. A slighter higher GPA, SAT or ACT test score is not worth ruining your eyesight for the rest of your life.