ERIC Number: ED299511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar-31
Reference Count: N/A
Weight Loss Emphasis in Popular Magazines: A Twenty Year Analysis.
Shealy, Lucinda; And Others
Cultural pressure for thinness has been cited as a contributing factor in the apparent increase in the eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia. Previous research has examined popular periodicals as an indicator of cultural pressure for thinness. This study assessed changes over the past 20 years in numbers of popular magazine articles focusing on weight loss through dieting. Three independent raters were trained on criteria used to code titles of articles related to dieting for weight loss. Only those titles indexed in the "Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature" under "diet" which specifically endorsed weight loss were coded. The results revealed a significant increase in the number of weight-loss oriented diet articles over the past 20 years, ranging from a low of 5 in 1966 to a high of 56 in 1986. A total of 538 articles over the 20-year span were coded as clearly advocating weight loss. Of these, 380 were in women's magazines, 155 were in general interest magazines, and only 3 were in men's magazines. These results reflect an increase in diet articles advocating weight loss, with more emphasis on weight reduction for women than for men. These findings are consistent with both the increased incidence and the gender differences in eating disorders. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (34th, New Orleans, LA, March 31-April 2, 1988).