Television Associated With Childhood Obesity Essay

1518 words - 7 pages

Television Associated With Childhood Obesity
COM 156

Childhood obesity has become a national dilemma. Recent studies have shown several causes for this public health epidemic. The evidence between childhood obesity and children’s excessive amount of time in front of the television has done nothing but increase each year. How long do children watch television each day. Does the media target children television? What are the health risks involved with childhood obesity? Childhood obesity continues to increase dramatically as the young viewers are victimized by television.
Television Associated With Childhood Obesity
During a recent study at UCLA School of ...view middle of the document...

Acanthosis nigricans happens to children of all races. This skin condition is caused by insulin resistance in the body. In addition to visually identifying obesity in children, Pediatricians are measuring the BMI (body mass index) in children of all ages. A Pilot Program to identify obesity in children was performed by Ramona M. Kwapiszewski, DO, and Alex Lee Wallace. During the process Kwapiszewski stated “Our first challenge was to define obesity. We chose to use the BMI because it has been recognized by the National Institute of Health as a reasonable and accurate tool for detecting obesity in children younger than 18 years.” Kwapiszewski also proceeded to define the BMI as “the BMI represents the ratio of weight to height squared, and the definition of obesity in children varies based on age and gender.” Generally speaking, the television itself does not cause obesity in children; it is how television viewing affects your child. According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) children who view more than four hours of television each day are likelier to be overweight. Children who view violence on television tend to be more aggressive and at the same time the child fears the outside world. Characters on television also portray smoking, drinking, risky behaviors, and racial stereotypes as cool. Most of all, too much screen time perpetuates obesity in children as physical activities decrease.
Associations of Television Content type and Child Obesity
Research has proven that different content types have different affects on obesity. “Television might lead to obesity through 3 primary pathways: by displacing time that would otherwise be spent in physical activity; by promoting eating while viewing which may foster both lower quality and higher quantity food intake; and by exposing children to food advertising, which adversely affects their diets” stated by Zimmerman PhD, F and Bell PhD, MN, MPH, J. Studies have shown that as the number of hours children view television increases, so does their body fat. Evidence shows Amy B. Jordan, PhD during one of her investigations “the causal relationship comes from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), which have linked reduction of television and other screen media use to decreased BMI, waist circumference, and triceps skin fold thickness in elementary school-age children.” Jordan PhD, A. On the contrary, the media has found a way to target children. During children programming more 30 second advertisements are viewed. None of which have nutritional value. In 2007 the Kaiser Family Foundation performed a study and found that several of ads kids see 34% for candy and snacks, 28% for cereal, 10% for fast food, 4% for dairy products, and 1% for fruit juices. The number of food ads children view each year is phenomenal. Children from ages 2-7 view more than 4,000 food ads per year. Children between the ages of 8-12 see more than 7,000 food ads per year. Nevertheless, more than 95% of the...

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