Essay on Television Is A Key Driver Of Obesity

Essay on Television Is A Key Driver Of Obesity

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The prevalence of obesity particularly in the US has progressively increased over the past half a century. According to Boulos, Vikre, Oppenheimer, Chang & Kanarek (2012), this has resulted in a major public health concern as the number of obese individuals, both adults and children, continues to rise reaching epidemic proportions. The World Health Organization (2006) states that obesity is caused by an energy imbalance between consumed calories and expended calories. Some of the factors that promote obesity include the increased intake of energy foods that are high in sugars and fats but low in minerals, vitamins and other valuable nutrients; and the shifting trend towards decreased physical activity due to increased urbanization, sedentary lifestyles both at home and at work, and changing modes of transportation (WHO, 2006). Working from this basis, this paper will argue that television is a key driver of obesity because it negatively influences and individual’s eating pattern and encourages prolonged inactivity.
The Current State of Obesity
In order to fully grasp the magnitude of the problem of obesity, it is necessary to understand current trends. Obesity occurs when the weight surpasses 120% of the median weight for height. This assumption is made possible through the use of the Body Mass Index (BMI). According to WHO (2006), obesity is classified as a BMI equal to or more than 30. In 2005, there were approximately 400 million obese adults, a figure that was projected to increase by 300 million to tally at 700 million by 2015. In the US alone, 34% of adults and 17% of children were found to be obese between 2011 and 2012 (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2015). As of 2014, Arkansas was the state with the h...

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..., thereby greatly reducing the need for physical activity.
There can be no gainsaying that television is a great tool for both entertainment and education. However, in recent times, its use has been attributed with the promotion of obesity in individuals, because it encourages the substitution of physical activity by exposing people to long hours of inactivity, and creates uncontrolled eating patterns thereby attracting excessive food consumption. Hence, there remains a great need for the society to be educated on the dangers of early exposure to television watching because such culture tends to persist well into adulthood. Ultimately, if nothing is done to address the current obesity epidemic, they current generation of young people may be the first to experience shorter life-spans as obesity often leads to a variety of chronic diseases such as diabetes.

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