Obesity is a growing global health problem which seems to be growing and festering like an uncured disease. If none of us felt the need of mitigating it as other diseases such as Polio, hepatitis then it may trap many children into its dangerous tentacles. Like Global warming, the childhood obesity is also an epidemic crisis that requires serious prevention plans. The high blood pressure, earlier onset and growing rate of type II diabetes and heart disease are common health complications related with obesity. Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of fat in one’s body, the state in which weight of a person becomes greater than the normal weight. In today’s era when global warming, deforestation and depletion of resources have become the major concern for the international communities, the obesity has also arisen as a major problem that should be dealt seriously by taking immediate steps. Today, obesity is among one of the most visible but yet neglected issues.
Among all the victims of obesity, children are the most innocent yet targeted sufferers. Childhood obesity is becoming the serious issue of current era, because it has significant negative impact on both physical and psychological health. Childhood obesity is the outcome of consuming too many calories and not getting enough physical work. Nutrition in childhood leads to well-being, health, growth and development in adolescence and older age. Additionally, eating habits inculcated and established in childhood are projected to eating behavior of adulthood. Numerous factors are responsible for childhood obesity, comprising lack of physical activity, the wide availability of nutritionally poor foods, and advertisement that promotes unhealthy foods. Out of multiple factors that influence the eating choices of children, food advertisement is one of the most debated and potential factor.
At present, children are susceptible to multiple types of media; that are television, computer, game screens, etc. and spend more time in activities that results in interaction with such media. Therefore, children are focal targets for advertisers. Some research has found positive correlation between non-nutritious food advertising and rates of child obesity. In contrast, other school of thought state that parental eating behavior is the dominant influencing factor in children’s eating habits.
1.2. Children’s Exposure to Food Advertisement:
Children are exposed to thousands of ads on Television and these ads are totally covered by unhealthy food products (34 percent for snacks and candies, 28 percent for cereals and 10 percent for fast foods). Nearly three out of every four food items advertised to children comes under non-nutritious food categories that add to the obesity problem. Considering the role of fast food in regular diets, the quality of food items in the restaurants is a matter of serious thinking. A study found that of all the children’s foods available at fast food restaurants, only 3% reach the...