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J Health Commun. 2016 May;21(5):593-9. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2015.1128019. Epub 2016 Apr 29.

Portrayals of Eating and Drinking in Popular American TV Programs: A Comparison of Scripted and Unscripted Shows.

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a Department of Public Relations, College of Journalism and Communciations , University of Florida , Gainesville , Florida , USA.


This study investigated portrayals of eating and drinking behaviors in popular American TV programs and compared scripted and unscripted (i.e., reality) shows. Through a content analysis of 95 episodes, the prevalence and nature of food/alcohol consumption that accompanied depictions of eating and drinking behaviors in 461 scenes were measured. Various foods were portrayed, but only 9% of foods portrayed were healthy (e.g., low in calories/fat content, such as fruits, vegetables, etc.). Approximately half of eating or drinking scenes either were accompanied by alcohol or contained solely alcoholic beverages. Significant differences between the scripted and unscripted shows were also found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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