Childhood Obesity and Cartoons

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Childhood Obesity: An Analysis of Food in Children’s Television Shows
There are more obese children in the current times than ever before, and many people blame many different sources. One of these sources is Television; whether it is the act of the children watching television, or the shows themselves and what the children are seeing on the programs. The main discussion in what children’s television programs are showing is ‘food’ – more specifically, unhealthy food. Many of the programs on the children’s television channels show many cases of food during their run-time, and many argue that the majority of this food is unhealthy, and part of the cause of our children’s obesity. One of the more current cases in this category involved the long-time popular young children’s show Sesame Street, in which the beloved Cookie Monster was changed. He was changed to eat fruits and vegetables with the occasional cookie – because always eating cookies was unhealthy, and many complained that their children were getting a bad example from this. This was an extreme case since the show was actually changed (since it was such a popular show for young kids) – where in most shows, people wouldn’t argue as much, nor would they bother to change.

A lot of studies have been done regarding the relation between obesity in children and children’s television, however mostly the studies were just making a correlation between the number of hours of television viewed and child obesity. The studies were not all paying attention to the exact programs or channels watched, just the fact that it was television. In his essay “Healthy Cartoons? A Content Analysis of Foods in Children’s Animated Television Programs,” Jeremy L. Korr talks about food in children’s television programming. Not only does he look back and gather together a lot of the important studies done concerning Children’s television programs and the food shown or referenced, but he does his own studies of the...
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