Killer at Large: Childhood Obesity in America

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Did you know that 35% of the United States population is considered obese? Also, 66% of the population is considered overweight or more? (Saint Onge 2014) Even more frightening, in 2012 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than one third of children and adolescents in America were overweight or obese (CDC 2014). The media sources used investigates the political, scientific, historical, and cultural reasons behind the childhood obesity epidemic in America. Obesity is a rapid growing epidemic in America and these sources present the facts causing this epidemic. As well as how the children of the American society are being wrongly influenced by the media, especially advertisments. (Greenstreet 2008). In the documentary Killer at Large, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona remarked that “Obesity is a terror within. It’s destroying our society from within and unless we do something about it, the magnitude of the dilemma will dwarf 9/11 or any other terrorist event that you can point out…” Carmona is indeed right, with the rapid increase of obese children, America is on the fast track to producing a generation with a life expectancy shorter than their peers. One of the main factor is the media representation of obesity (Greenstreet 2008). In today’s society parents are not only worrying about televisions influence on their kid’s behavior but their weight and health, too. According to study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, that researched the role of media in childhood obesity, stated the obesity increased by 2% for every hours of television in adolescent’s ages 12 to 17. The advertisement of food and beverages present a very strong influence on the children. Most of the products being advert... ... middle of paper ... ...s: A Media Problem?” ABC News, February 24. Retrieved April 22, 2014. ( Sutherland, Lisa., MacKenzie, Todd., Purvis, Lisa., Dalton, Madeline. “Research shows that food and beverage product placements in movies may be a potent source of advertising to children.” Hood Center of Children and Families. Retrieved April 22, 2014. ( Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2011. “Influence of Media on Overweight and Obesity Among Latino Youth.” Retrieved April 23, 2014. ( Mayhew-Russell, Shelly., Mcvay, Gail., Bardick, Angela., Ireland, Alana. “Mental Health, Wellnes, and Childhood Overweight/Obesity.” Journal of Obesity. 2012: 9. Retrieved April 23, 2014. (

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