Period 4 English
Senior Project Essay
February 3, 2013
Childhood obesity has started to become a major problem across America. There are four categories of weight: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity. Obesity is when your body mass index, or BMI, is 30 or higher. Your BMI is a comparison between height and weight. Obesity has grown throughout the years due to the limited access to healthy and affordable foods, the time spent on the television and social media, and decrease in time spent outside being active. Children have become more at risk for many other diseases later in life due to the obesity they face during their younger years. Although a portion of obesity comes from genetics, exercise and eating healthy have a bigger influence on weight and obesity.
Over the decades, television has become increasingly popular. Today, with thousands of different channels and devices that are compatible with televisions, such as Xbox, it has become extremely hard to wean children off. In recent studies, it has been found that children between the ages of 6 and 11 spend around 28 hours a week watching television and playing video games. Breaking this down, this means children are spending 4 hours a day in front of the television (Television and Children). Children are in school for 6 hours a day, sleeping for 8 hours, which would only leave them 10 hours to spend with family and friends. 40% of the average child’s free time is spent on the television. This percentage has doubled since 1981. In 1981, the average children spent about 2 hours a day on the television, taking up only 20% of their free time (Changing Times of American Youth).
You might think watching television is directly related to obesity because children are sitting around and not being active; and while this is correct, there are other reasons one may not have taken into consideration such as the influence of...