How Media Influences Our Health

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Television and Your Health
Media can be helpful as a tool to promote healthy living and lifestyles. News broadcasts can influence society’s views on how to be healthy. These broadcasts do this by illustrating how to make healthy choices. News broadcasts have the ability to shift society’s focus from obesity and weight loss to healthier eating and being more active. They draw attention to the need for policies on things such as fast food marketing to youth and the quality of foods in schools. News programs promote healthy eating by shaping people’s perceptions of nutrition and physical activity issues.

Any news channel has the ability to encourage your views on health. Reporting only one side of a story can lead to society viewing a situation in only one way rather than looking at the bigger picture. When the news presents a story about obesity, or diabetes and focuses solely on the genetic issue of the disease it enables people to associate the diseases with genetics and not living a healthy lifestyle. Although this can be a commonality among news programs the diversity of news programs available and the way that they are presented to society enables people to have a better understanding of their health.

Although some would argue they do not watch the news every day, there are television programs that do incorporate information from the daily news such as, “The Daily Show”, “Colbert Report”, and “20/20” that people do watch. In a study by Pew Research Center, they concluded that “Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade” (Pew). Each of these shows satire or comedy aside grapples with the issues of health and wellness. In a survey conducted by myself fifty people were questioned about 5 news programs available on television Each person was asked to check off the box of any of the shows they have watched, even if only for 15 minutes, within the past week. The available shows to be selected from were 5...
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