4/22/08 Media and Health Issues: Body Image In the News: -France might ban extreme skinniness in the media -a frightening rise in childhood obesity -who is to blame? Working Moms? TV Food Ads? Background Info: -Eating Disorders -Often begin in adolescence -prevalence: -Women/Men: 10/1 -Overall: 0.5% to 3% of US -College-age females 4-20% -What is the Ideal Woman? -slim body big boobs -36-24-36 -Size four hips, size 2 waist, size 10 bust -Barbie?s measurements- 6 inch, 100 lbs -38-21-34 Content Analyses: -Where do young people learn about the thin ideal??? -Percent of TV characters who are thing -Women=69% -Men= 17% -Dieting Ads -more common in women?s vs. men?s magazines -Weight-loss claims in advertisements -increased 1960-1987 -TV sitcoms -Positive comments to thin females -Negative comments to heavy females -Female thinness connected with beauty, strength, independence and success -Women in the media are getting thinner! -average model -1970s: 8% less than average woman -1999: 23% less -McCall?s Magazine -Miss America contestants -Playboy centerfolds -The messages in magazines -Advertising to Kids -most ads are for junk food -ads for food products tend to focus on taste, convenience, and low cost -not the nutritional value Effects: Media Use and Obesity: -Heavy TV viewers are more likely to be obese than light viewers (Tucker and Bagwell, 1991) -why? -inactivity -Content shown (especially with kids) -Heavy TV viewing among kids is related to (numerous studies): -poor nutrition knowledge -preference for unhealthy foods -requests to buy foods advertised on TV Body Ideals: -Some dependent variables: questions asked in surveys -Fat stereotyping: ?Is this person nice? Greedy? Clean?? -Body dissatisfaction/body ideal: ?I think my hips are too big? -Drive for thinness: ?I am preoccupied with a desire to be thinner? -Perfectionism: ?I feel I must do things perfectly or not do them at all? -Eating Disorder Symptomology: ?I am preoccupied with getting thinner? -?I avoid eating when I am hungry? -?I have gone on eating binges where I could not stop? -Develop early in life -fat stereotyping (1st-5th graders) -beliefs about ideal self (1st-3rd females) -desire for thinness (elementary school kids) -45% want to be slimmer -same for boys and girls Eating Disorder Risk Factors: -biological, psychological, familial, sociocultural factors -Sociocultural Factor: -Study #1: Experiment -College Girls- waiting room for study had magazines (fashion or news) -Readers of fashion magazines: More likely to: -Beliefs about ideal weight being lower -frustration about their own weight -report weighing themselves more than one time a week -guilty about eating -preoccupied with getting thinner -fear of getting fat -Study #2: SURVEY of college women -Correlation between magazine exposure and drive for thinness (positive correlation) -Correlation between thin TV viewing and drive for thinness -Correlation between magazine reading overall and eating disorders -No correlation between TV viewing and eating disorders -Social Cognitive Theory -process of social learning: -Watch a model?s behaviorModel?s behavior is reinforced learn modeled behavior -Study #3: Cultivation Theory -What would it predict? -Heavy TV viewers social reality -what is ideal in society? -Harrison (2003) -Women: circle the figure that you would most like to have (women?s ideal figure) -Men: Circle the figure you would most like to have -Female actual: 3.78 -Female ideal: 2.76 -Male ideal: 3.32 -Exposure to ideal-body images on TV women?s thin ideal -what about the curvaceously thin ideal? -flip book on each body part -separate out hips, waist bust -exposure to ideal body images on TV: -affects: Perceptions of ideal female bust -perceptions of ideal female waist -perception of ideal female hips -approval of plastic surgery Conclusions: -Media messages: -ideal woman getting thinner -real women getting heavier -thinness is associated with success -Media?s impact: -plays a contributing role in women?s self images and eating habits -contributes to eating disorders -magazines and thin-ideal TV most damaging
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