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ERIC Number: EJ852388
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-1932-5037
A Descriptive Analysis of Health-Related Infomercials: Implications for Health Education and Media Literacy
Hill, Susan C.; Lindsay, Gordon B.; Thomsen, Steve R.; Olsen, Astrid M.
American Journal of Health Education, v34 n1 p9-16 Jan-Feb 2003
Media literacy education helps individuals become discriminating consumers of health information. Informed consumers are less likely to purchase useless health products if informed of misleading and deceptive advertising methods. The purpose of this study was to conduct a content analysis of health-related TV infomercials. An instrument specifically for health-related infomercials was developed and tested. The instrument assessed product category, health problems solved, production format, persuasive techniques, implied health benefits, implied social/emotional benefits, testimonial frequency, and product acquisition information presented in the program. Four trained observers analyzed the content of 31 health-related infomercials. Health infomercials were divided into five categories of products. Frequency of use for 21 different promotional techniques varied from 93 to 10%. Analysis demonstrated that particular types of products were far more likely to utilize selected persuasive tactics. Frequency distributions for implied physical and emotional/social benefits were calculated. Health-related infomercials utilize a consistent formula of promotional techniques. Veteran health educators will recognize these techniques from long-standing consumer health recommendations on how to spot health fraud. Implications for media literacy in health education are explored. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A