Stemming the rising tide of obesity

A recent article in a Canadian paper about the rising tide of obesity in Canada. The numbers match ours. Though certain states in the US are lower than others, for instance Colorado versus Alabama, the fact that obesity has been on the rise since the 1980s in both countries is reason for much alarm. After all, with rising obesity comes much co-morbidity including more heart disease, strokes, and diabetes along with more school and work absenteeism. Continue reading

Limiting screen time for kids

A good summary article of the state of affairs in terms of screen time in childhood, its ill-effects on kids, and some approaches to making a difference. In terms of screen time, the figures are staggering with kids spending many, many hours per day in front of screens while only spending about a half hour daily reading. Continue reading

You can eat just one

A humorous and telling article about the problem of over-eating and its connection with the culture at large. The author describes his grandfather, who grew up in Europe during WW II and who suffered at times from caloric deprivation. the author recalls an incident in which his grandfather enjoyed with much pleasure one Pringle and then put the container away and went on with his life. Continue reading

The media can be one factor in developing eating disorders

A thoughtful and thorough article about the connection between eating disorders and media immersion. The idea here is that young females especially, but also males, who watch much media – and the average now is at least four hours a day – are constantly being presented with images of female and male beauty that glamorizes slimness. This repetitious act of viewing such thin and beautiful humans becomes embedded in our psyches so that the viewer sees thinness as an ideal, one toward which she or he strives. Continue reading

Obese kids are often ridiculed online

An article that ties together two problems related to the media. The first is obesity in childhood and adolescence, a problem on the rise in America and the West. Significant causal factors are over-eating of high caloric foods and the sedentary life of so many of our youth. Both of these factors are related to over-consumption of the media by American youth. Continue reading

Social media as a way around advertising regulations

An interesting article describing how junk food companies work to finesse their way around laws established in Australia to stem the consumption of junky foods by kids. The technique is simple: go directly to advertising to kids on Facebook. Apparently Australian legislators have set limits on junk food advertising to kids on TV but not via the social media. Continue reading

Media has a strong influence on food choices, good or bad

An excellent and upbeat article well worth close study. The idea is that, although the media has played a negative role in inducing kids into bad food habits, the media can also play its part in positive directions in terms of influencing kids to eat healthy. Continue reading

It’s not just the time, it’s the content

Arguably a ground breaking article regarding the causal nature of the media on childhood obesity. Not only does this article out of Boston Children’s Hospital make the case for such a connection via hard data. It also makes another important point: This issue may not just be the amount of screen time a child experiences but the content of the screen time. Continue reading

Media can provide a positive influence, if there is a profit in it

An interesting study that follows the same theme described in my last article and set of tweets: The media can be used for good, if the message itself is positive. Previously I wrote about the FDA using a marketing barrage to make the point that perhaps kids can be influence via commercials to turn away from smoking cigarettes. This article suggests a similar tactic in the national battle against childhood obesity. Continue reading

Clear link between screen time and obesity

Encouraging article about the NICE, which is the British counterpart of the NIMH, voicing deep concern about the fact that more and more children in Britain are overweight or obese (about 30%) and that the major factor in this epidemic is children’s sitting in front of screens, be they TVs or computers, too many hours a day. Continue reading