Obesity in Children in Relation to Viewing Television

Table of Content

The proposed research I will like to conduct is to address Obesity in children in relation to the viewing of Television, obesity is a rapidly emerging global epidemic amongst children in America. The rising prevalence of obesity and health complications in children is quickly increasing and the viewing of Television is a contributor. The focus of this study is how the increase of television viewing in children has been a contributor to obesity. There will be 200 children from elementary school ages 5 to 10 will be participating in this research. The participants will be observed at home. The research will provide an understanding on how obesity in children is related to the viewing of television.

Television is a form of entertainment and can be used as an educational tool, but children are now sitting behind a television for too long which can be the lead to gaining excessive weight. Child obesity leads to many health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and it can also affect a child’s social stability Leading a more healthy and active lifestyle can prevent many of the risks that there is towards childhood obesity (Insel & Roth, pg. 252). Therefore, the purpose of this study is to test the associations between television viewing and a child’s body mass index (BMI) and how they affect each other.  In the United States, the percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s. Data from 2015-2016 show that nearly 1 in 5 school age children and young people (6 to 19 years) in the United States are obese (Hales CM, Carroll MD, Fryar CD, Ogden CL,2017). The main cause of obesity is generally caused by eating too much and lack of exercise, for example, when you consume excessive amount of energy, fats and sugars and don’t burn off the energy through exercise and other physical activities which is 20-30% of releasing energy, food digestion is about 10% and resting metabolism places the biggest role of 65-70% (Insel & Roth, pg. 247). If energy is not released all the energy consumed will be stored in the body as fat which will overtime cause overweight and eventually obesity.

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Literature Review

According the author of “Television consumption and child obesity: Linking children’s contemporary television use, physical activity, and advertising to Putnam’s displacement hypothesis” Brittany L, Altamirano who conducted a research to link children’s obesity to television use, physical activity and advertising. Altamirano goal was to find the displacement between physical activity and advertising due to television platforms. The author conducted her search with children from Las Vegas, Nevada, Monroe, Louisiana and Baldwin Park, California. The way she conducted her research was via a survey method in which there was a total of 99 survey’s respondents the survey in which 22.2% of participants from Las Vegas, Nevada; 52.5% from Monroe, Louisiana; and 25.3% from Baldwin Park, California (Altamirano, B. L., 2015). The children represented in the survey information were 44.7% male and 55.3% female and he average height of the children was 53.89 inches, the average weight of the children was 79.77 pounds, and the average BMI of the children was 18.87 (Altamirano, B. L. ,2015). Overall the findings of this research from the children between the ages of 5-13 was that there is a relationship between their weight and television consumption.

The authors of “The Association of Screen Time, Television in the Bedroom, and Obesity Among School‐Aged Youth: 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health” who conducted a research on youth having television in their bedroom relate to obesity decided to conduct the research with a survey method. The survey method was designed to analyze the behavioral characteristic that are associated with the time spent on watching TV. The survey focused on 6-11 year old and 12-17 years old, the goal was to see how they spend their time on a typical weekday. With the research design method used the conductors found that 20.8% of 6-11 year olds and 26.1% of 12-17 year olds had excessive screen time both associated with having TV’s in their bedroom (Wethington, H., Pan, L., & Sherry, B. ,2013). Overall this research is a great guidance for my research although my focus for this research is based on younger children’s (age 5) but the method used to go about this research which is a survey is very helpful.

The article “Association of obesity with physical activity, television programs and other forms of video viewing among children in Mexico City” based on a study conducted in Mexico City by B Hernandez and other colleagues to assesses an association between physical activity and program viewing as well as other types of video viewing to be the prevalence between obesity among the schools. The study was conducted with 712 children and they focused on low and middle income children in a town in Mexico City. The end result of this study was that there were about 24% of the students that were qualified as obese and the remaining of the student’s maintained average (Hernández, Gortmaker, Colditz, 1999). The research end result was that obesity was linked to the lack of physical activity and television but not due to video games in Mexico City to children between the ages of 9-16.

On a research done by Zimmerman & Bell, (2010) they tested the associations of content types of children’s television viewing with subsequent body mass index (BMI) to assess the plausibility of different causal pathways, the pathway has quite different implications for the way different kinds of television content might affect obesity. Television might lead to obesity through 3 primary pathways by displacing time that would otherwise be spent in physical activity, by promoting eating while viewing in which may foster both lower-quality and higher-quantity food intake and by exposing children to food advertising, which adversely affects their diets (Zimmerman & Bell, 2010). Overall the researchers agrees that television affects BMI and is a big contributor to obesity but rather than the viewing of Television the researchers agree is the content being watched on TV. Therefore the focus on this proposed research is to address obesity in children in relation to the viewing of Television. The hypothesis is how the viewing of television is associated to obesity in children. The goal is to find an association between the times spent watching Television instead of physical activities and how it relates to the child’s body mass index (BMI).



The sample (N=200) will be made up of 200 children (100 girls and 100 boys) all the participant must be elementary school student’s, and all participants will be 5 year old children. The participants of this research will be randomly selected. To start off a very detailed consent form will be sent to parents email with a survey link (designed via survey monkey), the email also included the study’s guidelines, purpose, and guarantee of anonymously. To maintain the information confidential for both child and the parent’s participation the names of all participants will not be released in no data regarding the research, instead the participants will be identified by numbers. The consent form and the survey made available online will have a two week period to be completed by the parent via SurveyMonkey.com. If the parents agree with the criteria and are willing to comply with the research they will be introduced to the survey, if the parent chose not to be part of the survey they will be able to exit the survey. The survey will included questions related to the following measures: 1) parental gender and socioeconomic status; 2) gender and ethnicity; 3) body mass index and child’s age; 4)food intake ; 5)parenting style with regards to television; 6)opinions on obesity causes in children. The research will be a great reward for the parents because not only are they willing to help with this research but they will have an overall understanding on what is a contributing factor of obesity in children.


Once the parents complete the consent form and the survey the participants will be divided into groups of two, the two groups will be designed based on the data received from the survey. Group one (50 girls and 50 boys) Participants who parents believe spent lots of time watching TV. Group two will be (50 girls and 50 boys) who don’s spend too much time watching TV. Dividing the participants into two groups will help the research because it will indicate if television has an association with obesity. Once the consent and survey are completed, with the data provided of the child’s starting age, weight, height and BMI of the child, the parents will be observing their child’s daily after school activity for a period of 6 months. After the six months we will provide the parents with a very similar survey to compare the results and see how over the past 6 months the child’s BMI either increases or decreases based the time they spent viewing Television.

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Obesity in Children in Relation to Viewing Television. (2021, Oct 29). Retrieved from


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