Television and Childhood Obesity

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Television and Childhood Obesity

February 19, 2012
Marsha Solock Morgenstern

Television and Childhood Obesity
While television commercials may encourage children to eat things they normally would not eat, television in not the main factor for childhood obesity. Even though society blames television and it’s commercials for the growing childhood obesity epidemic, other reasons for childhood obesity can be attributed to this problem. Lack of exercise, what children eat while watching television and not getting the recommended amount of sleep needed are also problems causing childhood obesity.

Displacement of Physical Activity
The lack of physical, daily exercise is missing in both our schools and our home life. Recommendations are for at least 60 minutes of aerobic physical exercise daily. This can be done at home as well as school but with communities built the way they are today over half of today’s children do not have safe routes for walking, biking, or playing. Only 27 states have policies that direct community-scale designs concerning parks, community centers, and sidewalks for neighborhoods.

Video gaming is another reason for childhood obesity. Children on average spend approximately four hours daily playing video games. As video gaming and computers become even more popular this number of inactive hours will likely increase. When children were compared, children with higher weight status spent more time playing electronic games than children with lower weight status. “Moderate” play, while it sounds benign, can have a huge impact, given the large number of American children who play electronic games.” (Vandewater, Ph.D., 2004) Children that are overweight are more sedentary with fewer friends and find themselves with more free time on their hands, which leads to more time spent playing video games to occupy their free time....
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