California State University, USA
Title: Mindless eating: The correlation between obesity and television
Nicole Jafari is a faculty at the California State University, Fullerton. She is a public speaker on the subjects related to healthy family, cultural contrasts, and matters related to children & adolescents. She has published many papers on mentoring, autism and music intervention, child labor in Iran, and other pertinent topics. She is currently conducting research on PTSD and Immigrant families, and Role of Media and Attitude of Iranian Married Women on Infidelity.
Last few decades have marked an exponential increase in childhood obesity, which has become a global pandemic. United States along with other industrial countries such as Australia, Canada, England, and Sweden have experienced a rise in the rate of obesity in the adolescents to young adults age group (Geneva: WHO, 1998). In 1971, research study in this field had estimated that a group of 10 year olds would be obese by the time they turn forty. The predicted figure had estimated the upsurge to be 10 to 15%; however, the latest data shows that in fact the percentages are closer to 30 percent. Studies on the reasons for such epidemics in global increase of obesity have uncovered many environmental factors such as food intake, low SES, and the amount of television watching. Indeed, the studies overwhelmingly have shown the majority of the blame for this pandemic to be environmental factors. One of the many environmental contributors that have been of great concern may be time spent on sedentary pursuits such as watching television. A California Teen Longitudinal survey uncovered an association between hours of television watched at the baseline and body mass index (BMI. The research showed that viewing television leads to subsequent increase in BMI percentile rank and weight gain. Children who suffer from obesity are more likely to become overweight adults. Also, adolescents who suffer from obesity often deal with negative self-image and social discrimination issues (Livingstone, 2000).