Television was introduced in 1949 but very few people had it because it was extremely expensive. The only channels people could watch were NBC and CBS. Television became increasingly popular because it was entertainment without going and sitting in the movie theaters. As TV became more popular, it became more affordable. People would hear about television through word of mouth, news, radio and newspaper. Everybody liked the idea of being entertained and staying at home. By the 1960s most families has TV sets in their living rooms, depending on if they liked being entertained at home. Television in the United States has grown year after year and has made a big impact on American culture in many ways. TV has taken a big part in violence in society, the news, how people are stereotyped, childhood obesity, family values, social interaction, and so much more.
In my opinion one of the biggest impacts that television has had on American culture is childhood obesity. Obesity is considered a form of malnutrition in which food energy is stored as fat due to being unused. Child obesity is bred within the home and the television is a major contributor to it. The energy we consume from food needs to be used up by the body on a daily basis through physical exertion. An overweight child devoting a major portion of time to watching television is at risk to becoming obese. Television is certainly a contributor to that obesity. Kids these days are getting bigger and bigger, while television shows are growing and growing. To me, that is a big issue and television affects it a lot. Back in the day children enjoyed going outside to play, getting involved in sports or just anything outdoors. I feel like as of today there are now only about a quarter of the kids that enjoy doing outdoors stuff like that. The other 75% of kids choose to stay inside because most likely there favorite TV show is on or there is a movie that they just have to watch. Those kids are losing their time to play outside and mainly burn and lose calories because they are just sitting there watching TV for hours and hours. Obesity is known to be one of the major health concerns among both children and adults in the United States today. It is suggested by certain groups that children should not watch more than two hours of television a day. This in my opinion is already too much because that is where childhood obesity all gets started. The average child in the United States regularly watches between 2-3 hours of television a day and many children now days have their own television set in their bedroom. Not only are children inactive while they are watching television, they often snack on unhealthy food choices. And like I said, establishing unhealthy food habits as a child can often continue into adulthood. Investigators have hypothesized that television viewing cause’s obesity by one or more of three mechanisms: (1) displacement of physical activity, (2) increased calorie consumption while watching or caused by the effects of advertising, and (3) reduced resting metabolism. The relationship between television viewing and obesity has been examined in a relatively large number of cross-sectional epidemiologic studies but few longitudinal studies. Many of these studies have found relatively weak, positive associations, but others have found no associations or mixed results; however, the weak and variable associations found in these studies may be the result of limitations in measurement. Even studies for reducing the amount of television intake have been completed. They do not test “reducing television time” directly, but the results that they get may help to reduce the amount of risk for obesity or help promote weight loss in obese children. “An experimental study was designed specifically to test directly the causal relationship between television viewing behaviors and body fatness. The results of this randomized, controlled trial provide evidence that television viewing is a cause of increased body fatness and that reducing television viewing is a promising strategy for preventing childhood obesity.”
I really think parents need to take a stand to their children by limiting the amount of time they spend in front of the television, before it gets too late and they have an obese child. Removing televisions from children’s bedrooms and putting time limits on the TV may be a good way for parents to reduce the risk of obesity in children. Parents must serve as role models because their television viewing habits influence their children’s. Parents should also limit the frequency of television viewing. Overweight and obese children need to be encouraged to do more physical activity such as walking, playing and limiting their television time. Children may also need structured physical activity times to divert them away from television. “Although the increase in childhood obesity is not caused solely by television watching, Dr. Reginald Washington points out in the editorial that accompanies the articles, "Society, as a whole, must realize that to effectively control and prevent this obesity epidemic, all risk factors must simultaneously be reduced." A study by the University of Liverpool psychologists has shown that it is to be true that obese and overweight children increase their food intake by more than 100% after watching food advertisements on television. Children all over the world are exposed to a huge number of TV advertisements, primarily for fast foods and sweets. Some say that it is not the amount of TV; it is the number of junk food commercials that advertise unhealthy foods and constantly play over and over. It is miserable that people blame television as a result to childhood obesity but the United States is starting to get very lazy when it comes to situations like this, therefore I truly believe TV is one of the dominate reasons of why children are becoming obese.
I feel like this impact has been mainly negative on American culture. Television advertisers get talked down to by research groups, wanting them to take away all the unhealthy food commercials. Childhood obesity coming from television watchers makes American culture look very bad. When you find out that all it takes is television sets in a kids bedroom and high-quality shows that make children sit, stare and snack to become obese. It really puts a depressing look on America. In my opinion it is a very negative result because it used to not be this way at all. The parents and children put themselves in the situation to becoming obese and television just is an excuse for whenever they actually are obese. I know I will never let my children or close friends get this way due to excess amount of television watching. I have time to watch all my shows I like during the day and still get a good exercise in. I believe that all people can watch their weight and not become obese if they really try. So I really hope the culture changes and fix its look on television with obesity.
I do believe that the internet will be used more wisely than television as a medium for delivering content. Television is an older and dull way of showing and sharing shows, movies and advertisements, while now days the internet can do the same plus a whole lot more. Internet is a lot easier to get to because so many people have smart phones or laptops to be able to quickly access it. I feel like even now I start to see more and more people of all ages on their laptop/computer/smart phone rather than sitting down and watching television shows. Internet is a new (compared to TV) and entertaining way to access World Wide Web. News and broadcast stations are all starting to put their information and ideas on the internet even before they send them to television. While putting the internet into question about my topic, as much as I hate seeing younger kids run around with their own smart phone and/or laptop, it would really help society. Internet will help a lot more in this situation because children that do have smart phones will be able to play outside and exercise with their phone in hand. If the kids do go outside while on their phone it will stop them from sitting in front of a television set, sitting, staring and snacking. Therefore, it will lower the childhood obesity rate in the United States.
Childhood obesity is a very heartbreaking yet occurring thing that television influenced and started in the U.S. It has been a very big impact on television and American Culture. After all, we are all hoping and praying that parents help their children get back to how it was back in the day. Have the children exercising, playing outside, and getting involved in sports that way they only spend approximately one hour watching television. We have to lower the childhood obesity rate and will continue to try and stop every way that is involved in it.