Is TV making kids fat?

The research laid out in Article 3 supports more than one view on how television effects children. I definitely think it is great that research is being conducted in order to improve children’s programming because I was convinced that in todays world there are more negative effects than positive when it comes to children watching television. This article does touch on some of the negative effects like childhood obesity from too many hours in front of the television. It is also mentioned how in most households the television remains on even if no one is watching, but simple things like not turning the tv off makes it even easier for children to become distracted by shows instead of engaging in another stimulating activity. There are many  problems in my opinion with children spending so much time in front of the television, however, one being that research has shown children do not always understand what the program is trying to teach. This goes for programs that have even been deemed “educational” like Clifford the Big Red Dog. Research shows that in one episode about a three legged dog, the kids took away a completely different message than what was intended by the producer. This poses the question of how educational is said educational programming? I’m  sure there are many factors that come into play in this situation like the child’s age and prior knowledge but even the article tells us that most childrens programming is meant to teach lessons to the audience, but if the kids aren’t interpreting the lesson than what good is the program in the first place. They might as well be watching come adult show they don’t understand, which is another point made in the article about how children don’t pay attention to programs thay don’t understand.

Even after all is said and done, some children’s programming has proven to be very effective. Interactive shows like Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues that aim to get kids moving around and following along with the plot have become very successful. These shows require children to think and really be involved causing them to learn more. These shows took so well to children that it prompted producers of Sesame Street to revamp their show to reflect how todays kids are watching television.

As long as children’s programming continues to get kids thinking and off the couch by featuring interactive segments, maybe, just maybe Americas youth will not become obese like research suggests.



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