Mass Media and Obesity

Topics: Nutrition, Obesity, Food Pages: 5 (1916 words) Published: April 3, 2012
Mass Media and Obesity
The media in today’s society has shown its advantages and disadvantages in order to attract a certain group of consumers. People are exposed to advertisements every day and everywhere. Ads and campaigns are seen by simply walking down the street; posted on walls, boards, and store windows. Even while driving, advertisements are on billboards in areas where there is heavy traffic. The most popular way companies are selling their products is by doing TV commercials. Most households have a TV nowadays; people use it for entertainment and know about the latest news happening around the world. Unfortunately, there are times where the media can be a detriment to our society. People can become vulnerable to things that seem to be a necessity at first, but can be realized to be only a want. Food is an important factor that our body needs in order to function. Some are healthy while others not so much. The obesity rate in the US has become an epidemic. Those who are counted as obese tend to develop unhealthy lifestyles, such as bad eating habits and not being physically active. Fast food chains and restaurants tend to serve foods that are high in calories, fat, and sodium. Unfortunately, people do not see enough commercials that are about nutritious foods and being active. Instead they see commercials that have foods that are visually appetizing, while hiding the truth about its facts. The media cannot be a scapegoat to explain as to why the obesity rate is increasing, but it can potentially contribute to people developing unhealthy lifestyles. Each individual has the power and choice to not purchase a certain item. Companies have to advertise their products in order to make revenue. It is all business. Obesity is an increasing epidemic in the United States. It is not only adults that are overweight, but also children. McDonalds is an example of targeting children, and obese children still eat it. It is well known that the food at McDonald’s is very unhealthy, but some parents still take the children to the food chains. Children and obesity is a big problem. “The rate of obesity among children between the ages of 6 and 11 in the United States has increased about five times compared with the rate in the 1970s” (Hyunjae, 87). In the future, children would have serious health problems. “Overweight and obese children are at an increases risk of suffering comorbidities including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and endocrine and orthopedic disorders” (Henderson). This shows how children are looking at very troubling futures. In order to prevent that, some things have to change. Parents should put more emphasis on how the children are being raised and control what they are eating. Most of the foods that the kids choose to eat come from the influence of the media. On average, a child in the United States watches about four hours of television daily (Hyunjae, 88). To a child that can be outside or doing other activities, that is a lot of television. The more time children spend watching television, the more overweight or obese they get. This finding led researchers to propose that television viewing supplants time spent in physical activity, thereby leading to reduced energy expenditure relative to energy intake, and the development of obesity (Jenvey). Children do not get to exercise because they spend their time watching television. There is no way of stopping them if parents do not step in and change the ways their children live. “Parental influence cannot be ignored, because children generally spend more time with their parents than with anybody else” (Hyunjae, 87). Parents should influence children to be more active and not watch television or play video games so much. Kids believe that everything on TV really happens. They are easily fooled and are gullible when it comes to advertisements. Children take everything seriously, they don’t know any better. Parents should be the ones that explain to the...
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