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Is Television The Reason We Are Obese and Should We Stop It?

CC BY-NC by wackystuff

Television has long been a entertainment source and relief valve for millions of viewers all across the world.  Every day, millions of people flick on the TV for no particular reason at all, or perhaps to catch up the latest episode of this or that, the latest sports results etc. 

With America’s love affair and addiction to the television, it’s hard to see habits deceasing anytime soon. TV sets are being made bigger by the day; reality shows are at a high like I’ve never seen; and television along with the internet has quickly grown to become the top sources of entertainment and information for the common American.

While watching the TV is a great entertainment source and way to unwind, it also has its negative side. The TV has been discussed for a long time in regards to the link it has to many problems such as, crime, (Games included), reading disorders, depression and many others.  

While I can see the links the professionals have stated and I do somewhat agree, but has the Television made me obese?. Well there has been research done here and there which has linked watching the TV to obesity in Children, which therefor can continue on into adulthood. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the link between TV and being overweight. After all, sitting in the same spot for countless hours isn’t exactly classified as exercise. But is there any other possible link between the two, and more importantly can we change it for our future generation?.

Are You Dependent On TV?

Not just for Children, but we Adults are just as much guilty. Nowadays more and more Adults are playing video games well into their 30’s, 40’s etc. Which is fine, as I still love playing the PlayStation.

However, we are more capable of pulling ourselves into line than a child, and before we know it. The child is obese. I’ve noticed it myself with my kids, and I’m very guilty of encouraging my kids to TV to give me some quite time. Little did I take notice of the amount of hours spent per day behind the TV. Our family TV is literally on for over 12 hours a day, which is shocking.

A Child’s dependence on the TV is going to be one tough one to break, especially given the fact it’s become a culture in many countries around the world.

  • Children and us Adults alike can be greatly influenced by what we see on TV. Especially when it comes to food. The advertising really works, which is unfortunately a bad thing for us overweight people. Our Children also see sugared sweets, chocolate etc during commercials and this makes us more likely to eat something we shouldn’t eat so often. Is TV to blame, or is it us Parents to blame?. A little of both I think.
  • The obvious reason I see the link is that TV inadvertently promotes in activity or laziness. Most people either watch TV in a recliner, sofa and even when going to bed. So not much physical movement usually occurs.


Can We Prevent Obesity From Watching TV

CC BY by balusss

I know some people who have gone as far as selling or throwing out their TV sets because of the above reasons. However I think that’s a bit extreme.

I find the TV a great resource and for of entertainment, however like most things. It needs to be in limited dosses and usage needs to be carefully monitored for Children so they don’t become dependent on TV and start putting on the pounds.

Here Are A Few Of My Tips

  • As stated, have limited TV time. Decide on a daily maximum TV watching time. Say 2 or 3 hours, this even applies to Adults. Forcing us and the Children to find entertainment elsewhere
  • Make one day a week or 2 days a fortnight a TV free day. While this can be difficult at first, it may lead to even greater family bonding, where everyone’s looking forward to that one day to go bowling, to the park, beach etc.
  • Plan what you and your Children may watch that day. For example, at 9am we might watch a catch up on our much loved sitcom, then at midday watch something else and so on. This way you will be forced to not sit on the sofa all day long channel surfing.
  • Exercise while watching TV. These days exercise equipment have become more entertainment driven with supporting MP3’s, monitors and the heavy duty treadmills with a desk. So you can work out and watch shows on your Tablet or Laptop etc while being productive with weight loss.
  • There are many gaming options for the kids to stay active while sitting in front of the TV too. Take advantage of this and get the kids dancing, bowling, working out etc in the form of a video game. Fun and exercise at the same time.

Don’t Disregard TV – Moderate It

While Obesity is formed through many contributing factors, I believe the TV is just a percentage of the reason. Television shouldn’t take the entire blame for obesity in today’s culture.

Because with what the internet has become today, more and more less physical entertainment sources are coming to the surface. It can never be stopped, but it may be able to be prevented. The key is to realize the problem before it exists or do something about it if TV has already become a problem.

Simple tasks as not having a TV where the family eats dinner, or not having the TV turned on in the dining area can make a change to existing habits. In my opinion it’s all about moderation. Everything we do should be in moderation including watching the TV.

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