Most kids love Spongebob! He was a regular in my house when my kids were younger. I know the Nickelodeon show is far from educational, but now there's a study out suggesting the cartoon can actually hurt your child's development.

The Study  found that watching just nine minutes of "Spongebob Squarepants" can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.  The study focused on 60 children randomly assigned to watch either "Spongebob", the PBS cartoon "Caillou" or to draw pictures.  Following these nine minute segments, the kids took mental function tests.  The study found those who had watched "SpongeBob" did measurably worse than the others.

Nickelodeon is fighting back, noting the show is not aimed at four-year-olds.  The network says Spongebob's main demographic is six-to-eleven-year-olds.

The study was published online in the journal "Pediatrics."  You can read more from AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner in the News Journal Online.