TV, Games Blamed for Obesity


The nutrition and exercise specialist at the Centers for Disease Control said a major cause of childhood obesity is increased media consumption, primarily TV and video games.

William Dietz, director of the Nutrition and Physical Activity division, made that point twice in remarks to a summit on obesity Wednesday in Williamsburg, Va.

He praised programs that limit children's media consumption and urged the creation of more such programs.

The three-day summit was actually co-sponsored by some big media companies--Time Inc. and ABC. the two are tag-teaming on an obesity special report, Critical Condition: America's Obesity Crisis.

Time featured an extensive cover story on obesity this week, while ABC has been covering the issue in all of its newscasts, including a Nightline special Wednesday night. World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings is scheduled to moderate a panel Thursday on marketing to children.

According to one panel attendee, the media and marketers can expect to get more and heavier criticism during Thursday's sessions, both for the enforced sedentariness and for the opportunity that provides to market fast food, snacks and sweets.