SOC 480 The relationship between obesity and media among American teenagers

SOC 480 The relationship between obesity and media among American teenagers

Obesity as a health disorder has attracted quite a number of studies. In the past,

researchers have tried to link this problem with many factors. In order to draw clear

understanding on this pandemic, especially in children between 6 and 10 years old, it is

imperative for this study to consider studies done at various settings, which include homes,

schools and hospitals among others. In Kalser (2004), the author relates high increase of

children obesity with media influences. This suggests that there are social factors that this

study needs to focus on to explain why American teenagers were vulnerable to media and

changes in their life styles due to its influence, thus increasing obesity rate among themselves.

Ways through which media leads to obesity in children

Theoretically, Kalser (2004) noted that experts in child development assume that

media can contribute to paediatric obesity through the following ways: Time displacement;

where by children would prefer spending their time in media shows instead of physical

activities, food influences in which TV shows introduce unhealthy foods to children thus

influencing their food choices, cross-promotion in which certain food products are associated

with certain movie characters, excessive use of snacks while in front of TV, reduced

metabolic rate than even when asleep, and depictions between body weight and unhealthy

food stuffs. From all these ways, it can be seen that media is a social facility that influence

one’s decisions. However, based on the fact that children cannot differentiate between fantasy

and truth, it would be very difficult to convince them that what they have watched is not

suitable for their early development processes.

Potential media–related factors that leads to children obesity

In Kalser (2004) experts asserts that media is not the only cause of increased obesity in

the western world.


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