Obesity In Childern And The Effects Of Advertisement

Obesity has been a growing epidemic in the United States for many years now.  More over has been now the number of obese children currently.  There are many factors involved with the growth of obesity especially in children.  According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services many notable trends have played a major role in the increase of obese children in the last twenty seven years.  “Energy intake away from home has increased from twenty to thirty-two percent.  Daily total energy intake that children derive from high caloric snack in the last 20 years.”

The family dynamic is also driving factor in the increase in both obese children and adults.  In this day and age both parents must work usually outside of home so the consumption of food has increased as well.  There is also the drastic increase of food portions, the decrease in physical activity due to video games and constant advertisement of fast foods in the media.  Food portions have grown nearly fifty percent in the last thirty years.  Fast food restaurants made the term super size very popular with there ever increases large portions for a low price.  Even the kids’ meal went from being just one size to offering two sizes, the kid’s meal and the big kid’s meal.  Due to these factors children are having more health problems now and when they become adults.

Type II diabetes has risen dramatically in both adults and children.  If this epidemic is not treated right away these children will grow up to have heart disease, high blood pressure, fatty livers and much more.  More children are developing diseases once they become adults at very early in age.  Diseases that twenty years ago were strictly for the elderly are now being seeing by people in their mid to late twenties.   It is this trend of increase food consumption and decrease in physical activity that is causing this.  The media advertising video games and fast food is playing a role in this fad in the United States.

One can turn on any channel and see many commercials strictly driven to entice people to buy their product.  These advertisements are put on at the most strategic times of day.  If you take a look at a Saturday morning cartoon 20 minutes is strictly the actual show while full ten minutes is saturated with one to two minute commercials on cereals, fast food and frozen food which high in sugar and saturated fats.  A child will watch five – ten commercials for every thirty minutes of watching television.

An average of ten to twelve billion dollars is spent every year by food companies in marketing advertising alone.  “It has been estimated that the average child currently views more than 40,000 commercials on television each year.  Moreover, an accumulated body of research reveals that more than fifty percent of television advertisements are directed at children promote foods and beverages such candy, convenience food, snack foods, sugar sweetened beverages and sweetened breakfast cereals that are high in calories and fat and low in fiber and nutrient density” (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 2004)  Three billion dollars is segmented strictly on children’s advertising which ranges from cereals to soft drinks and fast food.


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