Obesity truly has been one of the fasting growing health problems for many years past. Unfortunately the many causes of obesity are not entirely discriminating, and as a result every individual suffers from the triggers. Children especially are susceptible to obesity due to their developing stages. Matched with the increasing obsolescence of outside activity thanks to technology, the issue of obesity is even further amplified. But some still don’t realize how big of an issue obesity truly is.
Infographic | Targeting Children with Treats
In 2010, 60 percent of the United States was overweight or obese, and percentage is continually growing. If the escalation of obesity rates continues at its current rate then 50 percent of the population is expected to be obese by 2030. It is true that there was a change in the definition of body mass index, which is the formula used to determine if you are at a healthy weight. The change reclassified about 25 million Americans – turning their label into ‘overweight’ from ‘healthy’. But this change was instituted in 1998, and obesity rates have been growing dramatically even a decade after the change. There are many factors to the increasing obesity rates.
Children in America spend approximately 44.5 hours per week watching television while being exposed to up to 30,155 ads per year. Advertising itself is one of the most powerful tools to shaping the subconscious mind, with food advertisements actually influencing children more than parents. Around 50 percent of the ads are for candy, snacks, sugary cereal, and fast food. Children have an average of 3 snacks in between meals, most of which contain high amounts of health-damaging sugar. But a poor diet isn’t the entirety of the issue.
While those 44.5 hours of TV are damaging to the mind in the form of advertising, that is only part of the problem associated with extended television watching. This nearly full work week of TV watching is significantly cutting down on any time spent outdoors or engaging in physical activity. Even when TV is not being watched, kids spend hours on video games and the computer, and then time is needed to do homework and associate with the family. Couple inactivity with an obesity-promoting diet, and we have the formula.
What have these things led to? About one third of American children are overweight or obese. What’s more, 50 percent of overweight children remain overweight even into adulthood. Many parents have even made childhood obesity among their top concerns for their children, along with smoking and drug abuse.
To fix this issue we need to institute a total transformation of advertising while educating and raising awareness on unhealthy and healthy foods, especially from a very young age. The positive change will not happen over night, but with the proper education and dismissal of false advertising, changes will occur gradually over time.
Infographic created by Teach.com