Home, School and Media Share Blame for Childhood Obesity

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Dr. Amy B. Jordan
University of Pennsylvania

• Director of the Media and the Developing Child sector, Annenberg Public Policy Center
• Edits journal “Overweight and Obesity in America’s Children: Causes, Consequences, Solutions,” a special issue of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences
• Research interests include the impact of FCC children’s TV regulations, the amount and quality of TV for children and parents’ and children’s use and attitudes toward TV

Quote: “Clearly we need to help the 9 million children in this country who are overweight, and we need to do it now. There are many reasons for the tripling of the number of obese children since the 1970s (including, family food practices, school phys ed and cafeteria policies, and community structure). But it is time we take a closer look at how media may be contributing to the problem. Ubiquitous food marketing is persuading children of all ages to consume foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat and which are devoid of nutritional value. Children's unfettered access to all forms of electronic media in the home means they are spending more time being sedentary and have more opportunities to mindlessly consume snacks while consuming media content.”