Generating an environment in which U.S. children and our youth can grow up healthy should be the core priority in our nation, however, the media serves as an entertaining role while manipulating young people throughout our country. Such persuasions include the health of the children based on their mode of marketing food and beverages. Food products being advertised are only a limited range of foods that children’s eating habits and nutritional values are being adversely based toward the products advertised. This brings forth the issue surround the increasing rate of child obesity, due to the lack of exercise and physical activity because their time is spent in front of the television.
Spending more time in front of the television screen and absorbing advertisements as the media manipulates our youth has several negative factors, that influence the children in different settings including peer to peer relationships between friends, family members, and teachers. Even the summer seasons where children should be outside engaging in activities and enjoying the heat prefer television shows and commercials. However, it is difficult during the summer because students do not have the responsibility to attending school during the day, which means less time to watch television. It is a big challenge for parents because children’s routines can lapse leading to unhealthy eating habits, plus lack of exercise. Dr. Muireann Cullen, a member of the Nutrition and Health Foundation, explains “Children who participate in regular physical activity from an early age are more likely to develop and continue an active lifestyle throughout their teenage and adult years.” She further pointed out that the school day has a structure to it, with set meal times and an exercise programme built into the timetable. “The challenge for parents over the summer is to make sure their children retain their healthy eating habits and are having at least an house’s physical exercise per day.”
Here is an example of how one of the worlds’ most famous fast food chains, McDonalds, coax children to manipulate children with songs and images: