What’s On and What Should Be OFF – TV, America and Obesity

What’s On and What Should Be OFF – TV, America and Obesity

The average American spends roughly three hours a day sitting in front of the TV set, a.k.a. the boob tube. The three hours watching television amounts to about half of their leisure time.

Addiction by definition can be a psychological dependency for any number of things, i.e. gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, and yes, television also fits into the addictive model. Addiction is characterized by spending an unusually large amount of time with a substance or activity and giving up social activities to participate while reporting withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop use.

Children should not watch more than 15 hours of television a week according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, many children press this suggested ceiling and watch television roughly two hours a day and more.

American TV addiction may be one of the core reasons so many Americans are overweight. Excessive television viewing takes away from physical activity. If half of the leisure time is taken by TV viewing, it leaves little time for physical activities.

TV is part of American culture. Since its introduction in the 1930’a TV has become an American icon. Programming has boomed, as has the number of television households in America – almost 116 million of them with over 219 million television sets.

American’s should tune out half of their TV. We are becoming a nation of obese people. Some 30% of Americans are overweight. There is a direct correlation between being overweight and watching TV.

Let’s get started with week one. Watch your regular shows for a week and recording the amount of time you spend in front of the television set. Also record what you eat while you watch TV. Now make a list of all outside activities you enjoy or would enjoy had you not watched TV. Don’t list watching TV programs as activities – that’s cheating.

Now for week two, it’s time to cut your TV watching in half; be selective. For half of last week’s TV viewing time participate in one of those activities you listed. If you haven’t listed any activities start with this simple program, go for a walk for the half of the time you watched TV the previous week. Continue this program for a month. You’ll be surprised what you’ll see, how much better you’ll sleep and how much less you’ll eat.

No promises are made here about losing weight; BUT, if you stick to your new routine, chances are you will lose weight. Try it. Kick the too much TV habit.

Copyright 2010 Richard Albright LLC.