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Television, Commercials, and Our General Health–when will the madness end!!

Updated on June 17, 2011

Obesity 2004


Why is obesity in America the highest it has ever been? How can there be over ten different health issues directly related to obesity? Studies that have been conducted show us that this recently developed problem was not a problem in the past. By looking at the increasing number of fast food commercials we can see that obesity is growing in correlation to the number of commercials being aired, which leads to an increase in health issues and a negative outlook on America.The constant number of obese people in the United States of America has been on a steady rise since the early nineteen-forties. A Study created and posted by, has shown that since nineteen-seventy-four to today, the number of people classified as obese has increased from forty-seven percent to sixty-four percent.


Extreme obesity has risen from fifteen percent to thirty-one percent. Now there is no sure way of being able to calculate exactly how much fast food commercials and television has impacted this extremely unhealthy rise in obesity but it defiantly doesn't hurt the cause. According to “The Doctors” on Lifetime, people that watch three to four more hours of television a day intake eight hundred more calories than the people that only watch one to two hours. The problem with obesity is the fact that there are a number of health issues that come along with being overweight.

Since the nineteen-forties, type2 diabetes has increased seventy-six percent in adults from the ages of thirty to forty years old. Other diseases that were reported to be caused by lack of exercise or being overweight include Coronary Heart disease, endometrial, breast, and colon Cancers, Hypertension, Dyslipidemia, Stroke, Liver and gallbladder disease, Sleep apnea and respiratory problems, Osteoarthritis and gynecological problems, such as abnormal menses or infertility. It’s coincidental that there has been a large increase of type2 diabetes patient since the nineteen-forties and that is also the same year that McDonald's opened there first restaurant, soon after that In-n-Out burger opened in nineteen-forty-eight, Burger King in nineteen-fifty-four, Wendy’s in nineteen-sixty-nine, and finally Taco Bell in nineteen-sixty-two.


According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day (or twenty-eight hours/week, or two months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a sixty-five-year life, that person will have spent nine years glued to the tube. So if you do the math the average American is taking in four thousand and nine hundred more calories a week, then they were before television was invented. This has caused a negative outlook on America’s idea of being healthy, our overall view of each other and the way other countries have began to observe American society.

The negative outlook on America has been amplified greatly due to the fact that we are the leading country in obesity, this is largely due to fast food commercials and television it’s self. According to, the closest country to us is Mexico with a twenty-four percent obesity level. Australia weighs in at twenty-on percent. Canada recorded fourteen percent, Italy has eight percent and Japan brings up the end with a low three percent. America has a twenty-seven percent advantage over Japan. This statistic gives off the implication that America is a lazy and unhealthy country. It has created a negative outlook on the American population, which is causing even action to be taken by the president and the first lady. The first lady was recorded to have stated in a Barbra Walters interview that the next step is to tackle the ongoing problem of obesity and childhood obesity among all Americans.

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It’s not all dark and gloomy when it comes to fast food commercials, television and your general health. There has been a recent push in the direction of a better tomorrow. Fast food restaurants are now advertising new low calories meals, there are new game consoles, like Nintendo’s Wii, that force the player to be active and have created games that call for interaction, during work out sessions, making it more enjoyable to get fit. There have also been a number of television shows and films that have pointed out the problems of obesity and have called or shown solutions to that problem. There have been successful shows such as “The Biggest Loser”, or the film “Super Size Me”, or One Big Happy Family aired on the lifetime channel. The Food network channel has even done their part by always adding some form of low-calorie delicious meal into the chef’s segment. The NFL has also contributed by implementing a plan of “play sixty” which is advertised on a commercial every aired NFL game. The concept is for kids to play for sixty minutes a day, helping their growth and health. The NFL stars have also made many donations to schools of their choice to better supply gym and to build better playgrounds.

So how do we fix the problem? What can we do to educate America’s young minds, to be more active to live a happy and exciting life, outdoors? What does the future look like for us? We have the studies that prove what has been happening, is not working. We are on our way to better the situation, to teach children and young adults to stay active and not revolve life around television. It has become a nationwide effort to stop and even decrease the growing number of obesity, resolve the constant increase in the number of health issues and in turn change the negative view of our nation and its people.


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