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Influence Of Media Messages. Essay

3676 words - 15 pages

Since the onset of modern mass media, researchers have questioned the influence of media messages on the decision making process of people. An aspect of the research on this subject is how we decide about our health based on these media messages. Since 1980, the media has been linked with the public health crisis of rising American obesity rates. And this has produced prolific correctional and behavioral research linking obesity to media use. (unclear reference to 1980- are you dating the "media link" or the "prolific correctional research"?) A media link with the public health crisis of rising American obesity rates, since 1980, has produced prolific correctional and behavioral research linking obesity to media use. But despite these research conclusions and the subsequent (?) general public attention, the obesity rates in America continue to rise with predictions that this trend will only continue. In fact with these projections, by 2020 more than 50 percent of the U.S. population will be overweight or obese. (Cite. #)The impact of obesity is present worldwide, with a particular prevalence in the United States and other developed countries. The National Center for Health Statistics observed in recent data that 30 percent of U.S. adults over 20 years of age - over 60 million people - are obese compared with only 15% in 1980 (CDC, 2004). The highest rates for obesity are seen among African Americans and Latinos and the poor. But every group is experiencing rising rates of obesity regardless of race, gender, or class. One of the most disturbing aspects of high obesity rates is that children and teens are now included. Adolescents today have an obesity level triple those of 1980 (Dietz). For obese adults and children there is a multitude of ill health consequences, such as, Hypertension, type- two diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and some cancers (#). Conservatively, the United States health care costs is estimated at around $117 Billion (CDC, 2004). Therefore, obesity related health concerns are today an issue of national, medical and mental health. Certainly a better understanding of the part that media may play is in this phenomenon is valid.The definition for obesity is a level of unhealthy excess body fat, traditionally based on the Body mass index (BMI). The BMI estimates that an obese male is one with more than 25% percent body fat. Where a female is considered obese if she has a body fat of 30% or more. BMI is a frequently used and cited research methodology. BMI basically calculates ones height and weight for a generalization about body fat composition. The issue with this measurement is that it doesn't account for weight difference in muscle or fat. Therefore with this method a lean yet muscular person may be defined as obese. Some health professionals use a combination of BMI and other measurements. For instance, a waist- hip measurement, Because it detects higher abdominal...

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