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Children and obesity - Essay Example

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This essay describes factors that contribute the children and adults obesity. There are many factors that contribute to childhood obesity. It is not a coincidence that the numbers of obese Americans began increasing in the 1960’s, when television programs became children’s babysitter…
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Download file to see previous pages This essay "Children and obesity" outlines the reasons for the increasing level of obesity, especially among kids. Eating snack and fast foods combined with a lack of exercise are the main controllable factors concerning child obesity. Though attempting to accurately determine just how much television America’s children view per day is not an exact science because outcomes from studies of the subject vary widely, it is generally accepted that children spend most of their spare time, when not in school, sitting on the floor or couch watching television. Channels such as Disney and Nickelodeon, designed to cater specifically to younger child, make efforts to supply quality programs that do not include some of the sexual innuendo, drug use, and violence featured in the prime time shows which make parents feel more at ease. “Children continue to be exposed to a great deal of highly sophisticated, influential and enticing advertising even on these networks, introducing concepts that are not necessarily conducive to a child’s well-being and has proven to have a negative effect upon a child’s nutritional choices.” TV commercials which promote foods frequently misrepresent their products nutritional value to impressionable children. “Health experts believe that constant promotion of high-calorie food is contributing to the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States by encouraging preferences for junk food and contributing to poor eating habits. As children view their favorite programs, they are tempted by yet more types of ‘junk food’....
“Health experts believe that constant promotion of high-calorie food is contributing to the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States by encouraging preferences for junk food and contributing to poor eating habits” (Byrd-Bredbenner & Grasso, 2000). As children view their favorite programs, they are tempted by yet more types of ‘junk food’ embedded with the show. They then swiftly and noisily tell their parents of the new item they ‘must have.’ The parents then, more often than not, purchase the product. It’s a continuous cycle facilitating what has become epidemic of childhood obesity. All too often children are satisfied to sit and snack instead of going outside to play and burning up calories. Studies concerning behavioral effects of television advertising have discovered that it is a considerable factor in determining the particular items, especially food products, children request. Although it was acknowledged from early on in the evolution of television that advertising would produce the majority of the operating income for television programs. During the 1960s advertisers started producing commercials targeted expressly toward children who may not have money but have great influence on the parents who shop for food. This was a brilliant method of adding to their consumer base. Acknowledging that children cannot have the same comprehension ability as adults, at least 60 psychologists have expressed their concerns to the American Psychological Association (APA) pertaining to television advertisements to children, referring to several countries that have enacted laws regulating advertisements to children. These countries include Canada, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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