The Effects of Television on Americans Health

Topics: Nutrition, Obesity, Hypertension Pages: 5 (1495 words) Published: December 4, 2013

Television’s Effect on Health in American Culture

Liberty University
English 101 B30


Television has a detrimental effect on the health in American culture. Studies show that Americans view more than 151 hours of television a month or 5 hours or more a day. The lack of physical activity during that time is linked to the high obesity rate in America today. Children and adults alike are affected by obesity, which also lead to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, different types of cancers, etc., in which are only a few of the diseases associated with obesity. Excessive television watching with no physical also leads to poor eating habits because of exposure to commercials on television advertising unhealthy foods. It is stated that children are the main targets of these commercials. Studies showed that children are exposed to more than 40,000 commercials a year, making them very vulnerable to these ads. Television has a very negative impact on the health of Americans.

Television’s Effect on Health in American Culture

Watching television can be hazardous to your health. This fact has been confirmed by many studies that have been done for decades on children and adults. Television affects the health of Americans because excessive television watching causes less physical activity that leads to obesity due to poor eating habits associated with commercials advertising unhealthy foods. A person is considered obese when they have too much fat accumulation, causing their body weight to be 20% higher than normal (medical news today), which often occurs when a person sit for a long period of time watching television with no physical activity. The Nielsen Company reported that at the end of 2008 the average person viewed over151 hours of television in a month, or 5 hours or more a day (Rosen, 2009), and those figures are even more extensive today. Television’s effect on the health of American society has been of great concern for decades. One of the main concerns is its strong link to the high obesity rate in America today. “Research conducted at Harvard first linked television watching to obesity more than 25 years ago. Since then extensive research has confirmed the link between television viewing and obesity in children and adults (Harvard School of Public Health, 2013, para. 3).” Additional studies show that for every extra two hours people spend watching television per day (over the 2 hours recommended), their chances of contracting type 2 diabetes rises 20%, and heart disease is raised by 15% (Gardner, 2011). These are only a few diseases associated with obesity, others include, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, different types of cancer, liver and gall bladder disease etc. These diseases are increasing more and more each day and are no longer considered adult diseases, but children are being affected as well. Two studies that followed children from birth found that TV viewing in childhood predicts obesity risk well into adulthood and mid-life, especially with children with televisions in their bedrooms, which gained more weight than those that did not (Harvard School of Public Health, 2013). Nevertheless, many Americans do not realize the connection between watching television and obesity because it is considered one of Americas leading pass times, and is not believed to be harmful in any way. Most people consider it entertaining, others view it to relax, relieve depression, stress, and loneliness. Television does have some positive effects on the American culture, but very few studies have been found to show these effects. Some of these positive effects consist of shows and commercials that promote healthy living and eating habits. These include exercise programs that can be viewed throughout the day to help people incorporate a good fitness program into their busy schedules,...

References: Center of Disease Control (2013). A growing problem: What causes childhood obesity? [Online image, boy watching tv eating chips]. Retrieved September 23, 2013 from
Dennison, B., Laskovski, K. (2004). Television viewing and health: Encyclopedia of health and behavior 2, 791-793
Dittmann, M. (2004). Protecting children from advertising. 35 (6) p. 58 Retrieved from
Garner, A. (2011). TV watching raises risk of health problems, dying young. Retrieved from
Harvard School of Public Health (2013). The obesity prevention source: Television watching and “sit time” Retrieved from
Medical news today. Retrieved from
Rosen, D. (2009). Watching TV leads to obesity: The more TV you watch the fatter you become
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