Health images in the media
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HEALTH IMAGES IN THE MEDIA . Vanessa Purdon, Becky Fisher, Morgan Wells, Sara Hawkins, Cassie Foley. Objectives . Discuss/Illustrate Health’s Presence in Mass Communication . Key Terms.

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Health images in the media l.jpg


Vanessa Purdon, Becky Fisher,

Morgan Wells, Sara Hawkins, Cassie Foley

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Discuss/Illustrate Health’s Presence in Mass Communication

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Key Terms

  • Mass Communication: Dissemination of messages from one person (or group of persons) to large numbers of people via transmitting devices called media (Biagi, 1999).

  • Types of Media: TV, radio, computers, newspapers, magazines, billboards, and video games (du Pre, 2004).

  • Health Issues: Obesity/Nutrition, Violence/Sex, Alcohol, Tobacco/Smoking.

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Today’s Focus

  • Media can be both “Friend” and “Foe” in terms of promoting healthy behavior.

  • Friend-Promote valuable health information to large numbers of people

  • Foe-Images potentially influence unhealthy behaviors (Focus of our presentation)

  • ****Not stating that media "Causes" these behaviors, but the images may be influential***

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Theoretical Perspective

  • Cultivation Theory - People develop beliefs about he world based on a complex array of influences; including the media (Gerbner, Gross, Morgan, & Signorielli, 1994).

  • Social Comparison Theory - People judge themselves largely in comparison to others (Festinger, 1957).

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Marketing to Young People……..

  • 90% of smokers begin before age 21

  • 60% of smokers begin before age 14!

  • Companies spend $11 million EVERY DAY to advertise tobacco products

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Former Youth-Oriented Tobacco Promotion…

  • Remember Joe Camel?

    - a study showed 1/3 of 3 year olds matched Joe Camel with Cigarettes

    - he was a cartoon, cartoons are generally for children

  • The Marlboro Man

    - A strong man young boys could look up to, and young girls could fall in love with

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No more advertisements means other forms of promotion to young people…

  • Free Cigarette giveaways

    - concerts, sporting events

  • Foreign countries even have attractive young women dressed up in costumes hand out cigarettes to young people at school during recess!

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More ways of promotion… young people…

  • Walking Billboards

  • Cigarette-Branded merchandise

    - T-Shirts, jackets, hats, backpacks

  • How do we get this merchandise?

    - buying more cigarettes

    - camel cash, etc.. It is like a game for young people

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Some Interesting Advertisements… young people…

  • child_appeal.htm

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The Media and It’s Effects on Alcohol Use young people…

  • Advertising associates drinking with positive characteristics, never negative characteristics.

    • Social camaraderie, masculinity, sexual attraction, romance, escape, and adventure.

    • Hangovers, accidents, embarrassment, and violence.

    • EX: Commercials during sporting events always include beautiful women and laughing friends, never DUIs and car accidents.

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The Media’s Main Audience young people…

  • The media’s main audience is not people of legal age to drink, but underage people.

  • Underage drinkers view…..

    • 8% more beer ads

    • 11.6% more malt liquor ads

    • 14.5% more hard liquor ads

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The Media’s Other Main Audience young people…

  • The media also aims their alcohol advertisements at minorities.

  • African-Americans view…

    • 66% more beer ads

    • 81% more hard liquor ads

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When do Kids see these Alcohol Ads? young people…

  • Children view these ads during prime time TV, sporting events, movies, and music videos.

  • 70% prime time TV

  • 90% movies (1/3 show characters drinking, but only 2% show any signs of drinking problems.)

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Why Does This Matter? young people…

  • The fact that most alcohol ads are aimed at underage people and minorities can be dangerous.

  • It has been found that television alcohol ads have more effect on youth than parental influence, age, gender, church attendance, and social status.

  • Kids see more of these alcohol ads than any other group, and do not view any negative consequences associated with alcohol consumption.

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Violence in the Media young people…

  • No matter what time you watch TV, you are likely to see violence 2 out of 3 programs.

  • Male children are more likely than female children to imitate violence seen on TV

  • About 75.5% movie previews include violence and 56% show sexuality.

  • Media Violence causes people to overestimate the threat of violence in their environment.

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Soap Operas young people…

  • In 50 hrs of soap operas researchers noted 333 instances of sexual activity

  • In soap operas viewers see unmarried couples engage in sex ever 1.5-1.8 times per hr

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On the Good Side young people…

  • More shows today are depicting young people discussing sex in responsible ways.

    • Using condoms

    • More talk about HIV and other STDs

    • Open discussion about Rape

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Still on the Good Side young people…

  • There are now programs to limit the amount of violent exposures to young people.

    • Warning labels on TV Shows and Music

    • Television Rating Systems

    • V-chip

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Nutrition young people…



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Obesity young people…

  • Teens are the most targeted population

  • More teens are obese now than ever before!

  • The more time children AND adults spend watching television, the more likely they are to be obese.

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Commercials young people…

  • Most of the commercials that are aired during children’s television shows are for foods with low nutritional value (candy, soft drinks, potato chips, sugared cereals, etc.)

  • Snacks, usually sweet, are or referred to 3-5 times per ½ hour on prime-time television

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Nutrition young people…

  • Images in the Media:

    • Average model weighs 23% less than the average woman

    • All Playboy centerfolds and ¾ of all models had body mass indexes of 17.5 or below (the American Psychology Association’s criterion for anorexia nervosa)

    • Also the males!!! Male models became significantly more muscular in Playgirl

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Nutrition young people…

  • Bulimia becomes the natural response due to the contradiction between the characters in the media and the ads that are selling them junk food.

  • 44% of all female adolescents believe that they are overweight

  • 60% are actively trying to lose weight