In the recent decades, obesity has grown into a major health issue in the United States. With 31 percent of its people being obese, the United States has become the country with the highest rate of obesity in the world. Obesity is not only found among adults, it is also found among children and teenagers. Childhood is an important period for the initiation of obesity. Eating practices during childhood affects a person later in their life. Studies confirm that childhood obesity in the U.S has been on a rise for years. One out of three children in the U.S are obese, most of them face a higher risk of having medical, social and academic problems. Childhood obesity also leads to many health problems among young people; those problems include diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol and many more others. These problems cause a rise in health care costs. The influence of parents and the media play a big role in causing these problems to happen.
One of the important factors that affect childhood obesity is media and their persuasive way of marketing and advertising. Children from 8 to 18 consume many types of media. They spend a lot of time (on average 44.5 hours per week) using the computer, watching television and playing video games. Many researchers have found connections between the advertisement of non healthy foods and the rise of childhood obesity. Children are all are influenced by the programming and all the advertising that they see. According to many studies, unlike adults, most children under the age 6 cannot distinguish between advertising and regular programming, and children under the age of 8 are not able to understand the persuasive natures of advertisements (“The Impact”). The latter makes them vulnerable to fluidly recall what they see in the advertisements, and when they see those products in supermarkets, they will request that product which will affect their parents’ decisions on buying that product.
Media and advertising sure play...
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