Video Mediums and Childhood Obesity
Childhood Obesity has now reached a critical level. The main reason for the growing number of obese children is inactivity. With obesity in children being related to many health issues, it is important that we not only stop the rise in childhood obesity, but reverse it. With their health at risk, it is imperative that we assure our children are in good physical shape and at healthy weight levels. The stakes are quite high, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Being overweight during childhood and adolescence increases the risk of developing high cholesterol, hypertension, respiratory ailments, orthopedic problems, depression and type 2 diabetes…,type 2 diabetes has increased dramatically in children and adolescence,”. Our children are getting fat because they spend more time in front of video screens, either watching television or playing video games than they do participating in physical activities. Although technology is improving lives in many areas, it is having a negative effect on the physical welfare of our youth.
Television did not always play such a major role in family life. It was not a daily activity it was something done on occasion. Before television was in the forefront of daily family life and technology gave us video games that are almost lifelike, children played outside. They played baseball, football and flashlight tag. They built tree forts and rode bikes. These were not organized events, just the way they played, everyday. “A study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, found that our youth now spend an average of five hours a day–40 percent of their awake hours–in front of electronic devices. And the behavior starts young. Children under the age of two years old will spend over two hours a day in front of a media screen("Daddy says"). Seldom did parents have to tell their children to go outside and play. It was, in fact, one of the most common forms of punishment to make a child stay indoors. Try that today and see how many things must be unplugged before it will qualify as punishment.
Some people will say that there are other factors that come into play in the problem of childhood obesity, and there are, “Genetics and social factors – socio economic status, race / ethnicity” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).Of course, it is fairly common knowledge some children are genetically predisposed to obesity. However this has no bearing on the trend of increasing childhood obesity. While the rates of childhood obesity among certain ethnic groups, have had a more dramatic increase than that among others. The fact still remains that childhood obesity is on the rise among all children, it has increased across the board (Kumanyika, and Grier). When it comes to socioeconomic factors, there have always been those who are living at or below the poverty level. Now as the economy worsens, more of us find ourselves in this...