Title page for ETD etd-07072009-181647

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Dickson, Carly Nicole
Author's Email Address cdicks1@tigers.lsu.edu, carly_nicole_dickson@yahoo.com
URN etd-07072009-181647
Title Nutrition and Eating Habits in Adolescent Television Programs: A Content Analysis of Food and Beverage Consumption on Popular Teen Television
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hyunjae Yu Committee Chair
Judith L. Sylvester Committee Member
Nicole Smith Dahmen Committee Member
  • Obesity
  • Eating Disorders
  • Entertainment Education
  • Drama Theory
  • Social Cognitive Theory
Date of Defense 2009-06-29
Availability unrestricted
Media research often argues that viewing certain media can significantly increase the likelihood someone will develop an eating disorder or become obese. This study uses social cognitive and drama theory to discuss how adolescents may learn nutrition information and eating habits by watching television programs. Since adolescence is when people form eating habits, this exploratory study will analyze the nutrition content in three top teen television shows. This quantitative content analysis found that the characters in teen television primarily have a healthy body size but consume unhealthy items. This may be sending a message to adolescents that unhealthy nutrition maintains a healthy body size. Although teen television addresses eating disorders, it ignores obesity. Entertainment education (EE) case studies show the effectiveness of incorporating health content into television programs. The results of this study suggest that health organizations need to collaborate with the producers of television shows targeting adolescents to increase the prevalence of sensible eating on television. This research contributes to health communication research and studies on nutrition content on television.
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