Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/528109
Title:
“WATCHING” WHAT WE EAT: WHAT TELEVISION IS MODELING
Author:
Cavallo, Katherine
Affiliation:
The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix
Issue Date:
9-Apr-2015
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the College of Medicine - Phoenix, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Collection Information:
This item is part of the College of Medicine - Phoenix Scholarly Projects 2015 collection. For more information, contact the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library at pbc-library@email.arizona.edu.
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Abstract:
Background: Obesity has transitioned from an individual health concern to being a national problem with almost two‐thirds of the adult population in the United States now overweight or obese1. Television potentially provides a medium in which to model healthy and unhealthy behaviors to millions of viewers each week. Although there is no quick solution to obesity, promoting and normalizing healthy lifestyles in today’s most viewed shows may be one tool to help combat an obesogenic lifestyle. Research Question: To what degree do today’s most popular sitcoms model healthy and unhealthy behaviors? Methods: A scorecard with 11 behaviors (6 healthy and 5 unhealthy) was created using publically published guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)1,2,3, World Health Organization (WHO)4, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)5,6. The top three sitcoms for the 2013‐2014 season, as determined by TV Guide, were viewed and analyzed by one evaluator. These included The Big Bang Theory, The Millers, and Modern Family7. Results: In total, 898 unhealthy behaviors and 532 healthy behaviors were portrayed. The Big Bang Theory demonstrated the most behaviors overall and had the most favorable ratio of healthy to unhealthy behaviors at 1/1.1, compared to 1/3.8 for The Millers and 1/3.2 for Modern Family. The most common unhealthy behavior viewed was beverage choice with 492 occurrences. One of the least portrayed healthy behaviors was moderate physical activity with only 47 instances. In two of the three shows, there were remarkably few examples of fruit and vegetable consumption. Conclusion: Today’s top three sitcoms expose their viewers to many healthy and unhealthy behaviors during the span of a 22‐minute show. Significantly more unhealthy behaviors were portrayed than healthy behaviors. The most common unhealthy behavior centered on beverage choice. This is a behavior that can easily be adjusted to promote a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, food content could reflect more healthy choices. Television shows reach millions of viewers each week and may prove to be a useful tool in helping to reinforce and normalize healthy lifestyle choices.
Keywords:
Eat
MeSH Subjects:
Television; Food
Description:
A Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Mentor:
Coles, Sarah MD

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.title“WATCHING” WHAT WE EAT: WHAT TELEVISION IS MODELINGen_US
dc.contributor.authorCavallo, Katherineen
dc.contributor.departmentThe University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenixen
dc.date.issued2015-04-09en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the College of Medicine - Phoenix, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.collectioninformationThis item is part of the College of Medicine - Phoenix Scholarly Projects 2015 collection. For more information, contact the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library at pbc-library@email.arizona.edu.en
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.description.abstractBackground: Obesity has transitioned from an individual health concern to being a national problem with almost two‐thirds of the adult population in the United States now overweight or obese1. Television potentially provides a medium in which to model healthy and unhealthy behaviors to millions of viewers each week. Although there is no quick solution to obesity, promoting and normalizing healthy lifestyles in today’s most viewed shows may be one tool to help combat an obesogenic lifestyle. Research Question: To what degree do today’s most popular sitcoms model healthy and unhealthy behaviors? Methods: A scorecard with 11 behaviors (6 healthy and 5 unhealthy) was created using publically published guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)1,2,3, World Health Organization (WHO)4, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)5,6. The top three sitcoms for the 2013‐2014 season, as determined by TV Guide, were viewed and analyzed by one evaluator. These included The Big Bang Theory, The Millers, and Modern Family7. Results: In total, 898 unhealthy behaviors and 532 healthy behaviors were portrayed. The Big Bang Theory demonstrated the most behaviors overall and had the most favorable ratio of healthy to unhealthy behaviors at 1/1.1, compared to 1/3.8 for The Millers and 1/3.2 for Modern Family. The most common unhealthy behavior viewed was beverage choice with 492 occurrences. One of the least portrayed healthy behaviors was moderate physical activity with only 47 instances. In two of the three shows, there were remarkably few examples of fruit and vegetable consumption. Conclusion: Today’s top three sitcoms expose their viewers to many healthy and unhealthy behaviors during the span of a 22‐minute show. Significantly more unhealthy behaviors were portrayed than healthy behaviors. The most common unhealthy behavior centered on beverage choice. This is a behavior that can easily be adjusted to promote a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, food content could reflect more healthy choices. Television shows reach millions of viewers each week and may prove to be a useful tool in helping to reinforce and normalize healthy lifestyle choices.en
dc.typeThesisen
dc.subjectEaten
dc.subject.meshTelevisionen
dc.subject.meshFooden
dc.descriptionA Thesis submitted to The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.en
dc.contributor.mentorColes, Sarah MDen
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