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Obesity and How the Media and Society Play a Major Role - Research Paper Example

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15th August 2012 Having too much body fat is obesity. It is different from being overweight, which means, weighing too much. There are several factors, which makes a person overweight. These include being overweight from an extra muscle, bone, water or by having too much of fat…
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Obesity and How the Media and Society Play a Major Role

Download file to see previous pages... The best measure for defining obesity is using the body mass index. With the help of a person’s height and weight, BMI is calculated. Often people think that obesity is a cosmetic consideration. It is not just a cosmetic consideration, but there is more to it. It is a chronic disease which often leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, gallstones and various other chronic diseases. It is not easy to treat because the relapse rate of obesity is very high. Within a span of five years, 95 percent of people who lose the weight regain it. The treatment of obesity is not short termed even though medications and diets can be helpful. It has to be a lifelong process with a commitment to proper diet habits, increased physical activity and regular exercise. One should always concentrate on living a healthier lifestyle, rather than focusing on having an ideal weight (Balentine 2012). In this paper we will extensively talk about obesity in the children how does media and society contributes to it. Increasing trends among obesity in children represents an unprecedented burden on their health. the medical complications which are commonly found in overweight children includes hypertension, type 2 diabetes, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problem, troubles in sleeping and depression. According to research, there is a variety of unrelated media factors, which contribute to obesity among children. These may include a reduction in physical education classes, after-school athletic programs have reduced, public schools have started supplying sodas and snacks. We can also see the increasing number of fast food restaurants, the concept of ‘super sizing’ of food portions and the increasing number of high calorie and high fat grocery products which are easily available. The potential costs that are associated with childhood obesity is considered to be as surprising by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The other potential contributor in the rising rates of childhood obesity is media. There has been an explosion in the media channels and shows which targets to children during the same period in which trends of increasing childhood obesity are observed. In addition to this, there has been an increase in videos, specialized cable networks, video games, internet websites and other computer activities. An average of five and a half hours are spent by children today on media. This time spent is equivalent to a full time job. This time spent is more than an average person spends on anything apart from sleeping. Same is the case with the pre-school children. They spend more time with screen media: which includes TV, video games and computer games, than playing outside. Much of the media that targets the children is laden with elaborate advertising campaigns, which mostly promotes candy, soda and snacks. Studies show that on an average, a child watches 40,000 ads a year on TV alone. According to the theory of experts, pediatricians and media researchers, media contributes largely to childhood obesity. Firstly, the time which a child spends using media displaces the time which they could spend on physical activities. Secondly, the advertisements, which are related to food, influences a child in making unhealthy food choices. Moreover, the food products are made more attractive when some famous TV character or a cartoon character is the ambassador of that product. This encourages children to buy and eat ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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