Obesity is something that needs to be seriously dealt with especially with regards children not getting the right amount of exercise that they need to be able to burn out the fats that they incur from the food that they eat and to assist them develop their muscles and their bones, as they grow older.
However, living in an advanced society as today is it may not be that easy to compel with the needed exercise as mentioned herein. This is the reason why reminding the parents and the children of their need in becoming active in their early years of childhood is a necessity, making this project having a valid purpose for completion. (Coon, 1999, 32)
On the other hand, television is one of today’s major sources of entertainment. It could not be denied that this particular innovation of technology attracts numerous audiences that share a certain agreement that television is indeed a primary source of relaxation to the weary minds of many people in the society.
In fact, “According to the International Herald Tribune, over a billion TV sets cover the globe, 50 percent more than there were five years ago. In Japanese homes, TV sets outnumber flush toilets. Only about half of Mexican homes have a telephone, but just about every household has a TV.
And many Americans have 25 or 30 channels to choose from. States the Tribune: “The cultural, political and economic effects of this global television revolution are enormous. . . . Some worry that all that TV watching will make the rest of the world lose its appetite for reading, as has already happened to two generations of Americans.” (As quoted by Greenwood, 1990, 43)
Statement of the Problem
Certainly, from this particular report, it could be observed that television has been taking over the other forms of entertainment ever since the time it was first introduced to the society. It could be noted too that as years pass, the simple innovation of a box like feature of a television continuous to involve in such a state that the said form of entertainment is able to meet the specific standard of relaxation for different types of audiences.
There exists the large screen televisions, the flat screen TVs, the mobile televisions and so on and so forth (French, 2003, 42). From this point it could then be agreed upon by many that television fondness among the present generation towards the next generations is here to stay.
In fact, 70% of the viewers of these particular themes are young children from the ages two towards the ages six, who are known to believe whatever they see in the television.
They are not that much capable of setting apart the truth from make-believe. Hence, upon seeing the programs that were mentioned above, they are disposed of to beliefs that they are able to become like that of the characters that they see on television. Children as young as they are have no limitations as to what they are supposed to or not believe in (French, 2003, 14).
This particular vulnerability among young viewers have been used as an advantage on the part of the advertisers [particularly that of fast food establishments]. According to Business Week magazine, the typical American is exposed to about 3,000 commercial messages each day. How do people react? They tune out, either literally or mentally. At best, most people give advertisements only partial attention. (Greenwood, 1990, 43)
To overcome viewer apathy, advertisements must grab our attention. Television commercials feature stunning visual effects. They strive to be entertaining, dramatic, funny, puzzling, or emotional. They feature celebrities and lovable cartoon characters.
Many use sentiment to hold our attention, perhaps by focusing on cats, puppies, or babies. In this case, food presentations and “kiddie” values are used by advertisers to present the products that they are luring the young ones with. The truth between the relationship of television advertising and that of children obesity is that “Obesity among children is becoming a global epidemic and the problem must be tackled at its junk-food roots,” reports The New York Times (Greenwood, 1990, 43).
“According to the International Obesity Task Force, more than 25 percent of 10-year-olds in a number of countries across the world are overweight or obese.” Malta (33 percent), Italy (29 percent), and the United States (27 percent) lead the list. One quarter of children between four and ten years of age in Chile, Mexico, and Peru are overweight or obese. In some places in Africa, more children are found to be overweight than underweight. Why are so many obese?
“The average [U.S.] child sees 10,000 food advertisements per year, 95 percent of them for fast food, soft drinks, candy and sugared cereals—all high-profit and nutrition-poor products,” answers The Washington Post.
“Marketing campaigns link fast food and soft drinks to toys, games, collectibles, movies and popular personalities. . . . Is it any wonder that children now consume about 15 percent of their total calories from fast food, 10 percent from sugar-sweetened soft drinks and only half the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables?” (James-Jak, 2003, 15)
The number of hours a day that preschoolers spend watching television is directly linked to an increase in body fat later in childhood, claims Dr. Munro Proctor of the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Proctor made a four-year study of 97 preschool children who, at the start, were between the ages of three and five. Parents monitored the hours of television viewing by their children daily, while measurements of skin folds throughout the body were taken annually.
As reported in The Medical Post of Canada, “each child sat in front of the tube a mean of two hours daily. For every additional hour of TV watched per day, there was a 0.8 mm [0.03 in.] increase in triceps skinfold change and a 4.1 mm [0.2 in.] increase in change in the sum of skinfolds.” Dr. Proctor concludes that television viewing leads to reduced physical activity and lower metabolic rates and exposes children to advertisements for high-calorie foods that are consumed while being inactive. (French, 2001, 14)
Part 2: The Presentations of Truth Based From the Researches:
A Literature Review
Television viewing is not wrong. Appreciating its benefits for entertainment and recreation is not a wrong act. However, by further reading this particular study, it could be observed how strong television could be upon the audiences. For this reason, it is simply rightful to consider the fact that there is a need in balancing the situation in social status in viewing television programs.
The reduction of the hours spent by viewers in front of the television set is indeed one of the primary aims of the different programs set to balance the viewing practice. This fact is especially with children, however, with an imbalanced view of the situation, obesity could be a deep result of the said problem.