Childhood Obesity: Fast Food Companies Are To Blame

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Since the fast food industry is targeting America’s youth, providing healthier options on children’s menus will reduce the rate of childhood obesity and allow for a healthy future. According to “Burger Battles” from the Weekly Reader, obesity is defined as a person whose weight is 20 percent higher than recommended for their height (Burger Battles 1). When this condition begins to affect children lives, it is then known as childhood obesity. Within the United States of America, around 15 percent of children are considered to be obese (Holguin 3). Increasing tremendously, this outbreak has actually tripled in the amount of obese teen and doubled in children up to the age of thirteen (Burger Battles 2). One of the factors that is usually overlooked in the cause for obesity is the role of television. Not only does it reduce the amount of physical activity, the advertisements and commercials are targeting innocent viewers. In a survey completed by Gary Ruskin of Commercial Alert, the average child watches nearly 19 hours and 40 minutes of television a week (Ruskin 2). With that amount of time spent watching television, advertisements for fast food will be entering the children’s minds. Commercials make the viewer think about the product being advertised. Because of the amount of television children watch throughout the week, it allows the children to be exposed to the information over and over again. Per year, children are known to view thousands of fast food commercials. On a daily basis, a teen will usually view five advertisements and a child aged six to eleven will see around four advertisements (Burger Battles 4). Businesses use this strategy to “speak directly to children” (Ruskin 3). Although the big businesses in the fast ... ... middle of paper ... ... consideration, the most severe of all is the chance of death due to one of the diseases. Focusing on the well being of the customers should be the main focus of any major company, especially fast food companies. By reducing the amount of unhealthy choices for children and replacing them with nutritional foods, the nation’s youth will benefit. Works Cited “Burger Battles.” Weekly Reader. 6 Dec. 2010: 4. SIRS Discoverer. Web. 8 May 2011. Holguin, Jaime. “Fast Food Linked To Child Obesity.” CBS News, 5 Jan. 2003. Web. 8 May 2011. Paul, Maya W. “Healthy Fast Foods.” Help Guide. Help Guide, 10 Sep. 2010. Web. 9 May 2011. Ruskin, Gary. “The Fast Food Trap: How Commercialism Creates Overweight Children.” Commercial Alert, 31 Oct. 2003. Web. 8 May 2011. Zinczenko, David. Eat This Not That For Kids. New York: Rodale, 2008. Print.
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