Mixed Messages on Obesity from Media

Obesity among children is a problem in the United States. While many health organizations are promoting healthy meals and exercise, it seems that kids are getting mixed messages from movies.  Many animated and live action movies “glamorize” unhealthy eating practices and inactivity by showing characters watching television, playing computers and video games, and eating unhealthy snacks and beverages.  At the same time, films stigmatize these behaviors; for example, making fun of Kung Fu Panda’s “fatt butt.”

The data on kids’ movies and messages on eating and obesity was collected at the University of North Carolina and published in a news release.  Their data showed that 75% of films contain negative weight-related messages, and unhealthy movie segments were displayed twice as many times as healthy ones.

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