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Food and Nutrition Messages Communicated through Prime-Time Television

Rosemary J. Avery, Alan Mathios, James Shanahan and Carole Bisogni
Journal of Public Policy & Marketing
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Fall, 1997), pp. 217-227
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30000446
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Food and Nutrition Messages Communicated through Prime-Time Television
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Abstract

The authors use manifest and latent content analyses to identify the nutrient profile of foods appearing on prime-time television and implied messages about these foods communicated through characters and settings. The sample consists of 276 prime-time television programs airing over a two-week period on four major network channels. Results indicate that (1) beverages are the most prevalently portrayed item on television; (2) four of the five most frequently portrayed food categories are in the four major food groups; (3) candy and salty snacks are far less prevalent than previous studies indicate; (4) the most frequently portrayed foods in meals have average amounts of fat and slightly lower than average sugars, calories, and sodium; (5) snack foods are significantly less nutritious than foods portrayed in meals; and (6) characters with different demographic characteristics are portrayed with significantly different foods and send different messages regarding the taste and appeal of food.

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