The Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends

The Role of Video Gaming in Obesity Trends

The trends of growing obesity are a concern both globally and within the US, as annual statistics reveal the steady decline in the levels of health and physical fitness across a network of societies. This issue is even more worrying when analyzed across a diverse age demographic, as figures suggest that more and more children and young adults are developing obesity as a serious health condition. This epidemic is expected to become more widespread before it improves, as children in particular continue to consume a poor nutritional diet alongside a reduced level of physical exercise.

Dietary elements and subsequent exercise are considered to be the most influential factors in determining a persons general health. These form part of a routine and cycle of behaviour, and the approach that an individual takes towards them is significant in establishing their physical fitness. However, diet and exercise are subject to environment and a persons individual attitudes, meaning that they themselves are vulnerable to numerous contributory triggers. To deal with obesity effectively, appropriate bodies must strive to discover the root cause of unhealthy behavioural trends and find suitable resolutions.

Contemporary Social Causes

Although diet is often considered to be the most significant influence in a persons general health, this is not supported by popular research and statistics. As an example, the metabolism and structure of the human body dictates that a person could consume 5000 calories in a single day (which is twice the recommended amount for a male), so long as they perform the requisite cardiovascular exercise to convert them to energy and burn them off. This is true with sportsmen who participate in particular disciplines, where a high level of energy is expended on a regular basis.

The Rise of Online Fraud and Identity Crime

Of all the types of crime and criminal conduct that are prevalent in contemporary society, online fraud and identity theft are perhaps the most bewildering. These are advanced and highly evolved crimes, and perpetrated with a level of remoteness and distance that provides both safety for the criminal and extreme consternation for those who are it victims. And yet for all of the intensive media coverage that has engulfed these modes of criminal activity in the latter part of the decade, they remain vague and incomplete with regards to their public perception.

Unsurprisingly, these types of crime have become more prominent annually since the turn of the century, with the levels of reported instances rising annually across almost every US state. The figures suggest that this issue is a national concern rather than one that is confined to particular geographical areas, which makes the crimes both harder to tackle for law enforcement bodies and also more difficult to analyze in terms of their cause and primary motivations.

Targeting the Primary Causes of Online Fraud and Identity Theft

One of the most significant tasks in tackling and overcoming a type of crime is first understanding its causes and subsequent consequences. For example, to understand violent crime then a government would assess where the crime is most prevalent and draw conclusions from their findings. So as violent crime and murder are most common amongst areas of society with high rates of poverty and unemployment, then it would be reasonable to identify these as primary causes, and implementing resolutions to solve these issues would have a positive impact on particular types of crime.

Assessing the Extremes in Political Opinion and Action

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of democratic representative Gabrielle Griffiths at a neighborhood meeting yesterday, a sharp and sudden focus was drawn against the increasing extremities of feeling that exist within contemporary US politics. Although an exact motive for the attack that killed and wounded others has yet to be determined, their are rumblings of the accused gunman being extremely hostile towards the current government regime and also especially vocal about his inherent dislike and reasoning.

This reaction is extreme and entirely unjustified in a civilized society, but the instance is not isolated in terms of the level of threat and deep rooted animosity toward the existng political government. There have been several occasions in the last 18 months and 2 years where democratic representatives have been subjected to verbal abuse or vandalism, as concerns and issues with economic policies and health care legislation have combined to produce increased levels of frustration and discontentment with government representatives and legislation.

A Diversity of Opinion

While this particular instance and general type of political protest is repugnant, it is not the only reason for concern in federal circles. At the entirely opposite end of the spectrum, there continues to subsist a growing apathy towards voting and policies in particular geographical and age related demographics, and one which is born of the same levels of disenchantment that fuels acts of violence and anarchy. In a society where two opposed and yet deeply similar and related political issues are pertinent, there are several conclusions and portents that can be drawn.

Taking Individual Responsibility for the Economy

Given the recent reports concerning proposed economic prosperity for 2011, it was logical that Barack Obama would cite the literature in his weekly address to the US. He identified the positive trends that have been established in job creation and reduced levels of unemployment, and suggested that these figures herald the beginning of a brighter year ahead for the country. His speech was an exercise in accentuating the positive, and an attempt to capitalize on the growing optimism in US society.

Although these reports suggested a level of economic growth that was underwhelming when compared with economists predictions at the close of 2010, there was still clear progression and improvement in the fiscal circumstances. Unemployment dropped from 9.8 to 9.4 percent throughout the last month of 2010, and although it has been suggested that this is due chiefly to the fact that many stopped looking for work during the festive period, the government is keen to assert that this is a portent of things to come.

The Wider Picture for the Growth of the US Economy

It is widely known that the condition of the US economy in 2012 could well be the deciding factor in Barack Obama’s prospects for a second term in office. It is all too apparent that a large and disproportionate amount of responsibility for the economy falls on the shoulders of the president and his representatives, which is especially concerning given the size and capitalist nature of the country. It is arguable that the responsibility for such a diverse economy should be more equally spread, with businesses and individuals being encouraged to take control of their own financial health and well being.

Should Smoking be Restricted in a Democratic Society?

As the US government continues to restrict the rights of smokers, there is increasing debate as to the ethics of such a policy and its place within a civilized and democratic society. This debate has intensified recently with legislation being implemented to ban smoking from the side walks and well populated streets of Great Neck Village in Long Island, as the local board of this affluent suburb upheld complaints and suggestions from its residents. This is considered to be the first instance of authority restricting smoking in public and completely open spaces.

This follows on from the decreasing tolerance shown by governments towards smoking, and specific bans on smoking in various enclosed public areas and establishments. This ethos, coupled with the escalating costs of buying cigarettes and tobacco, has been credited with reducing the number of smokers by over 6 percent of the population since 1990. While this has been accepted as beneficial to society and its members, there is some debate that the continual tightening of smoking regulations is actually an affront to personal choice and liberty.

A Personal Choice? The Arguments of Smokers

The argument of smokers in the US is based primarily on the fact that they live in a democratic society with the supposed freedom of choice. This applies to any act or decision that can be taken within the existing laws, and as smoking remains a legal practice then theoretically there should no serious restrictions on its practice. There is an unclear and conflicting message sent concerning smoking by government legislation’s, with smokers being subjected to numerous restrictions and price increases on the basis that smoking is detrimental to health, while cigarettes are still sold on every street in the USA without any serious stipulations.

Learning the Lessons of the Global Recession

When the individuals of a country are afflicted by the hardship of a recession, the very suggestion of prosperity and optimism can seem foreign to the concept of logic. As unemployment rises and jobs are cut from the private and public sectors, so too consumer spending power diminishes to create a vicious cycle within the economy. However, there are signs emerging through the gradual recovery that adults in the US have not only taken heed of the financial portents of the recession, but also developed a positive attitude in moving forward in society.

A recent survey of young adults aged between 18 and 34 has revealed that this demographic have learned important financial lessons through the recession, and in fact resolved to save more of their disposable income and through budgeting and reducing their levels of impulse purchases. The published findings also suggest that this generation of citizens have also developed an increased responsibility concerning their debts and burdens, and are motivated to committing more money throughout 2011 to reduce their financial duty appropriately. Aside from the bare statistics, this survey also reveals some key points concerning young adults living in the US.

Adapting to Social Conditions

One of the most significant conclusions that can be drawn from the survey is the malleable and adaptable nature of young adults living in contemporary society. It is a well versed theory of psychology that young adults are more adaptable to the change in social conditions, and also more likely to modify their behavioural trends to a more positive end. This capability to conform to changing environment and conditions is believed to diminish over time, as adults more experienced in life are either too comfortable with their own wisdom or embittered by specific instances of hardship.

The Benefits of the Internet as the Premier News Source in the US

Recent studies and reports have suggested that the internet has now surpassed TV as the premier resource for news in the US. This trend is especially prominent amongst young adults in the country, with 65 percent of the 18-29 age demographic using the World Wide Web to keep informed of topical local and world events. This is an increase of 31 percent in the least three years, whereas the rate of this age demographic who cite television as their main news source has dropped 16 percent in the same period.

Though this trend is most prevalent amongst younger adults, it is reflected across other ranges too. A significant 48 percent of citizens aged between 30 and 59 now regard the internet as their primary news source, whereas even the retired generation now cite online resources as their first port of call for current affairs. These statistics clearly show that the internet has surpassed television as the most significant media outlet, and also raises questions as to the validity of a largely uncensored entity providing news to the public.

The Advantages and Otherwise of Internet News Resources

There are both advantages and disadvantages to people using the internet to obtain their daily news bulletins. To understand these, it is important to comprehend the core differences between information that is provided to the internet and that which is displayed on television. The most important difference is that news can be sourced on the internet through a range of different sites and uncensored providers, whereas contrived television bulletins are carefully structured to deliver considered news and requisite opinion.

The Growing Influence of Facebook and the Social Network

The concept of the social network has shown immense growth since its inception, and has emerged as a key resource for communication and interaction in contemporary society. Facebook stands as the single biggest social network, and recently revealed that it now boasts over 500 million users worldwide, providing an ever improving computer interface accessible in hundreds of countries.

It was recently revealed that private investors have sunk $500,000 into Facebook in 2010, which has elevated the corporations market value beyond the staggering level of $50 billion. This rate of investment and corporate growth have made the brand currently more valuable than the Times Warner Group, Yahoo and the popular Internet trading site EBay. Given the nature of the site and its purpose, this level of global and financial expansion is quite remarkable.

The Present and the Future for Facebook

As a social networking entity, Facebook continues to expand and develop unabated. It continues to gain new investors with ease, while also being able to source and capture alternative and smaller social networking resources. In 2010, statistics even suggested that the site had surpassed as Google as the most frequented web resource, which is another remarkable feat given the multipurpose structure of Google and the range of business and personal services that it offers to the consumer.

The Economic Portents for 2011

As the US continues its gradual and yet persistent recovery from the global recession, the New Year heralds the beginnings of fresh hope and expectation for the unemployed citizens in society. Obviously, one of the most documented consequences of economic hardship and turmoil is unemployment, where redundancy and the closure of companies forces individuals from their positions and into an ever competitive job seekers market.

Of course, the issue in an economic recovery is that there is not enough positions to satisfy the increased number of unemployed citizens. This is because companies and organizations often choose to utilize this period as a time for consolidation, and are therefore loathe to expand their enterprise and employ additional bodies. This can lead to a frustrating and ultimately fruitless job search for many, and create a prominent sense of apathy and depression amongst large sections of society.

The Signs Ahead for 2011

Given these accepted economic theories, it is surprising to learn that the indicators are particularly positive for 2011. Although it is expected that the year will still see only a gradual and intermittent improvement in terms of unemployment levels, the same period of time is set to see the creation of between 2 and 3 million jobs within the US economy. This is a natural progression for economic climates afflicted by a recession, as companies emerge from financial hardship and look to expand their companies to previous capacity.

How Law can Continue to Challenge Criminal Behaviour

Historically, the struggle between law and criminal behaviour is one that has been both prominent and persistent. It has been a global conflict which has been contested differently depending on the individual country or culture, and has seen many attempts by governing bodies to minimize criminal conduct and successfully reprimand and rehabilitate the perpetrators of crime. However, despite the variety of approaches from law enforcements agencies to uphold specific legislation, crime continues to harm society and its erstwhile citizens.

The main issue in the fight against crime is the simple matter of law and its implementation. Law and legislation is created and implemented to best fight criminal behavioural trends, and is then enforced by police and government officials as rigidly as possible. However, while the application of law must be to the letter and maintain a clarity of process, those who wish to defy the law are not bound by the restrictions of duty and transparency. Unfortunately, the nature of law and its application means that it will always be easier to break than it will be to uphold.

Law in Contemporary Society

The levels of crime reported and discussed on daily news bulletins throughout the US is currently at an unprecedented level, and although this has something to do with the vast amounts of media outlets that can be accessed it should not detract from the fact rising crime is a troublesome social issue. This trend is especially prominent amongst instances of violent crime, such as aggravated assaults and armed robberies, and this type of crime is also the most significant in terms of being targeted by government bodies and their legislation.

The Relevance of Community in Society

What became apparent however was the sense of community and togetherness that had been fostered through hardship, as countless residents gathered to assist the Red Cross operatives at the scene. This reflected an incredible selflessness of character, as individuals put their own issues and suffering aside to help the rescue efforts and clear the debris from the roads and man the refuge centers and facilities.

The Community in its Traditional Sense

This reaction and communal spirit displayed in common is the instances of emergency and natural disaster, and serves as a comforting reminder of the best side of human nature and behaviour. However, this sense of community and selfless distribution of time raises another question, as it is at odds with the behaviour and conduct witnessed in every day life and contemporary society.

How important is Union in Contemporary Society?

Various governments across various civilizations have eschewed the virtues of marriage and long term union in contemporary society, and some have even introduced legislation and incentives to encourage marriage and the development of a family unit. However, as the global rate of divorce spirals towards a troubling 50 percent, and the rate of divorce in the US alone stands at approximately 48 percent, there is an increasing concern as to the relevance of union in a modern society.

The thought processes involved in attempting to create marital and relationship harmony is simple. Governments regulate society, to make its citizens law abiding and maintain their safety. The concept of the family unit, and all of the values of clean living and moderation that are incorporated within, ensure that it is used as a tool with which to govern and maintain a social equilibrium. This abates the concern that single individuals are more vulnerable to external influences and corruption without the support of family or their communal values.

The Modern Relationship

While this trend of government thinking is clear, it is also a little misguided in contemporary surroundings. The nature of relationships and union has changed dramatically over the course of 4 decades, and the relevance of marriage slowly diminishing alongside the revolution in dating and methods of courtship. Quite simply, the encouragement of traditional family units and values becomes less pointed in a society where couples no longer begin their relationship in the traditional way, especially where marriage is often seen as an expensive luxury or a mere title.

Is Apathy a Cause or Consequence of Social Issues?

If we are to listen intently to the various media outlets that report on news and current affairs every day, we could be forgiven for believing that the world is veering on the very edge of tumult. From global conflicts that push the grand concept of world peace ever further from the grasp of civilized community to health and social issues that are more prominent within the US, it would appear that societies and the people within them are at the mercy of circumstances like no other generation before them.

However, many of these local or global issues are created by the many faults of mankind, whether it is greed to steal or satisfy a personal desire, or a misguided aspiration to use faith and religion and a tool to engineer anarchy. This makes these problems so much more than the sum of their parts, as there are too many cases of individuals turning away and displaying overt apathy in the face of their manifestation. The most pertinent question is whether this apathy is the root cause for such social issues, or whether it is a consequence of them and their subsequent media coverage.

What are the Issues and their Causes

This lack of feeling can be seen in many cases of neglect and wilful ignorance. For example, the level of US citizens who smoke is still unreasonably high at between 19 and 20 percent. Although this figure is down by an estimated 5 percent on the numbers recorded in 1990, it is unfathomable given both the public exposure of the damage that cigarettes cause and the quality of treatments available that so many still choose to smoke at all. This practice is clearly at odds with the advertisement campaigns, scientific research and media coverage that has been invested in revealing the extent that cigarette smoking can do to the human body.

Correctional Facilities: Purpose vs Effectiveness

As long as they have existed, correctional facilities have been discussed in terms of their exact purpose and levels of effectiveness. Such dialogue often concerns the actual purpose that a prison should serve, whether it is to punish a criminal for their conduct or to focus on rehabilitating them to ensure a successful return into society. In an ideal world, a correctional facility would meet both of these requirements, but the truth remains that it is exceptionally difficult to strike a harmonious balance between such diverse aspirations.

The secondary issue centers on how effective correctional facilities are in achieving either aim. As contemporary facilities have leant towards rehabilitation and modifying values and behaviour through learning, there has been criticism that this ethos actually creates an environment that is far too comfortable for inmates and convicted felons. Such an atmosphere does little to encourage a criminal to learn or change their conduct, nor does it act as any form of punishment for a particular crime that has been committed.

Crime and Punishment

Many correctional facilities across the world are designed with different concepts and ideologies in mind. In Eastern European and Asian cultures, such facilities are feared and renowned for appalling conditions and brutality, whereas western prisons are far more developed and built to suit rehabilitation and personal improvement. Each has their own sets of supporters and critics, but it is the western and US correctional facilities that are considered the most effective in a civilized society.

Internet Usage and Education

For all the advantages in terms of convenience, speed and delivery that the internet has provided to the average consumer and household, there are increasing concerns as to its influence on social conduct and etiquette. These concerns are centered on the fact that the premise of the World Wide Web has been outweighed by its impact, and despite its supposed benefits to individuals and families alike, it is often citied as a prominent factor in decreasing values and social behavioural trends.

The fact remains that while consumers can purchase and internet users can seek information through the vast resources of the internet, there is less and less need to venture into the outside world and communicate with other human beings through traditional conversation. This type of secluded environment in which young adults are thrust can contribute towards a restricted and introverted outlook on life, and in extreme cases develop anti-social behavioural trends amongst users.

Internet Usage and Education

One of the primary concerns around internet usage is its influence on the education of teenagers and young adults. With regards to the vast resources available on the World Wide Web, there are two schools of thought. One would consider that the diversity of information and opinion is beneficial to further education, and actively encourages the development of a considered point of view. However, there is a further notion that the internet’s depth of resource and often uncensored nature is confusing for impressionable minds and often contradictory to curriculum teaching.

The Reality of Drug Usage and Users

There is often a noticeable dichotomy between public perception and reality, and this ethos is particularly relevant to drug use and drug users. The general understanding of drug use is that it is currently more widespread than ever, and that it is particularly prevalent amongst teenagers and young adults. This theory is developed due to over exposure to sensational media reports and generic journalism, where indistinct statements contrive an unconsidered presentation of actual events.

In fact, the level of drug use between the 18 to 25 year old demographic has fallen between 2000 and 2008, with a total decrease of 0.5 percent. This may seem insignificant, but not when you consider the sum of the US population and also the fact the percentage drop for the same period of citizens who have ever used drugs was registered at 2.4 percent. This secondary statistic is far more indicative of a continual and gradual decline in the number of drug users since the turn of the century.

A Public Perception

So, where does the perception of a worsening drug culture emerge from? Surprisingly, the only increase in the number of drug users is actually in the 26 to 34 year age demographic, where the level of current users has risen from 10.5 to 11 percent between 2000 and 2008. Although this statistic, when considered on its individual merits, may suggest an increase in adult drug use, it not supported by other figures that feature in the same target age range.

Is Society Equipped for Multiculturalism?

This is not a slur on western culture, but more a realization of the magnitude of melding numerous cultural and religious bodies into a weave of similar communities. It requires a certain level of tolerance, knowledge and understanding, and also vast amounts of interaction and communication to make the transition smooth and effective. The danger is that by merging different entities together without the requisite foundation being laid could lead to ignorance, resentment and ultimately conflict.

Teaching the Values of Different Religions

There are two major issues with religious teaching in general education facilities. Firstly, it is not considered a primary or compulsory subject, and therefore either abandoned or simply ignored by students who do not see the value in such education. Secondly, where specialist religious education bodies exist, they often teach only a single religious or cultural theme that does not encompass alternative or external influences. While this at least teaches at some religious values in depth, it creates a closed minded attitude towards the notions of other belief systems.

Education as a Resolution to Social Issues

When addressing issues of poverty and rates of crime throughout the US, education would appear to be the strongest tool in opposition. This applies to the teaching of children and young adults in two separate guises: from standard or private educational bodies and personal examples set through the conduct of guardians. However, while the number of children enrolling in education is rising year by year, there are concerns as the rates of crime, poverty and teenage birth continue to display a rising trend.

The total number of children and adults enrolled in education was over 72 million in 2008, which was a significant increase in the figure of 69.5 million in 2000. These figures include individuals who sought and completed further educational and vocational courses, and who continued to learn and develop through their adult years. These statistics, when compared with the comparative levels of hardship and delinquent behaviour in certain areas, would suggest that education is not a relevant resource with which to improve society significantly.

The Ages of Child Enrolment

However, investigation of these numbers reveals some more relevant portents. While the number of children enrolled in schools and educational outlets has risen annually, the number of children per demographic age range has not. In some cases, there are groups of children where the numbers of school attendees have actually decreased from those reported in 2000. A secondary element is the ever increasing population of the US, which inevitably increases the number of youngsters and individual’s eligible for schooling year on year.

The Links between Poverty and Crime

Of all the supposed consequences and effects of poverty, crime is one of the most discussed. It is a common perception that people who live beneath the poverty threshold and who are victims of economic hardship are more likely to commit crime, whether for financial game or otherwise. Although various US census statistics would corroborate this to some degree, it is still pertinent to investigate other factors in criminal behaviour such as the types of crime committed and how poverty influences an individual’s personal morality.

What research has shown is that high rates of crime are more prevalent in low income areas of the US, and therefore that states that are subject to the highest rates also populate beneath the poverty threshold. Crime, however, is a broad and diverse subject matter, and understanding the types of crime most common in these areas is crucial to establishing the role that poverty plays in delinquent and illegal conduct.

The Levels of Crime in Deprived Areas

It is important to remember that the US federal definition of poverty differs to its public perception. An individual or family who are beneath the poverty threshold are not necessarily struggling to exist, but are more likely to have their residual income stretched across daily and monthly expenditure. Therefore, someone who is technically living in poverty in the US may actually live a comfortable life, only without many of the contemporary luxuries and features in higher income households.

Where to Save Money in a Recovering Economy

As the US and other western nations continue their recovery from the global recession, more and more citizens and consumers are looking for ways to save money. This ethos is employed in all areas of existence, from day to day expenditure through to sporadic and luxury spending. However, the core emphasis for frugal living relies on saving through regular and necessary consumer spending, rather than reducing the amount sourced and spent on luxurious items and experiences. Statistics show that all forms of consumer spending have risen between 2000 and 2009, and also that the inflated expenditure far exceeds rises in average income and salary.

For those on a tighter budget, there are many ways to save money on food, drink and other household necessities. Although these processes often involve consumers having to spend more time to find discounts and devise money saving strategies, the end result can be seen at the end of each month. By reducing expenditure, a household can in effect begin to save money and capital for future times of need and hardship. If periods of recession teach society one thing, it should be that when experiencing economic growth and prosperity, each citizen has a duty to spend responsibly and save money for periods of financial regression.

Saving on Weekly Expenditure

The most effective avenue to saving money is on day to day expenditures. By saving money on groceries, drink and household bills, a consumer can create the biggest possible excess in their residual income. With regards to food and drink, many consumers find that shopping online helps to both reduce overall cost and also wastage of unused items. This is because customers are able to peruse a supermarkets website at their leisure and calculate the outgoings throughout the process and even at the checkout stage. This means that they are able to adjust their list as they go along and not only be aware of every cent that they spend, but also make sure that what they purchase is required and necessary.