Navigation Links
ER episode impacts viewers' health knowledge and behavior
Date:9/22/2007

Los Angeles, Sept. 14, 2007 -- A new study by researchers at the University of Southern California suggests that some TV may be good for you.

Researchers found that a storyline on the primetime NBC network drama ER that dealt with teen obesity, hypertension and healthy eating habits had a positive impact on the attitudes and behaviors of viewers, particularly among men.

The study, published in the Sept. 14 Journal of Health Communication and now available online, offered researchers a rare opportunity to evaluate the impact of health messages in entertainment, says Thomas W. Valente, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine and member of the Institute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention Research (IPR) at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

This study demonstrates the importance of interventions and programs targeted at a population level, says Valente. We have so many public heath issues to deal with, we cant restrict ourselves to any one strategy. We have to do everything and anything we can to help people improve their health.

The storyline depicted an African-American teen who is diagnosed with hypertension during a visit to the emergency room and is advised to eat more fruits and vegetables and to get more exercise. The story aired over three episodes from April 29 to May 13, 2004.

The impact of the episodes was evaluated using three separate datasets, one of which provided data on a sample of 807 primetime viewers before and after the episodes aired. An independent firm collected surveys from viewers, measuring whether their self-reported behavior and their nutrition attitudes, knowledge and practices were impacted by the storyline.

Results showed that ER viewers were 65 percent more likely to report a positive change in their behavior after watching the episodes. The results also suggested that the storyline had modest impacts on knowledge, attitudes and practices, Valente notes. Those who watched ER also had a five percent higher rate of knowledge about nutrition than those who did not. Researchers accounted for a number of factors, including age, sex, ethnicity, income and education.

Interestingly, the effects were stronger for men than they were for women. Researchers theorize this may be because men started with a lower baseline knowledge of the information shown in the episodes, Valente says.

While the overall impact may be relatively small, the study highlights the potential of entertainment television as a medium for health communication, Valente says. It can be particularly helpful since people who are heavy TV watchers are more likely to be at risk for obesity, he notes.

People get their information from entertainment, Valente says. Its not a magic bullet. Its a small piece of the puzzle, but wed be silly to ignore its potential.

Public health experts should also be involved in shaping the health messages that go out to viewers, Valente says. For the ER storyline, writers from the show contacted the Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S) project at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center to request information on the prevalence of hypertension and heart disease among overweight teens.

The findings of the study highlight why such programs are necessary to public health efforts, Valente says.

We should do everything we can to help ensure the accuracy of health messages in the media, he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Meghan Lewit
lewit@usc.edu
323-442-2830
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Number of Allergic Anaphylaxis Episodes Are Far More Than Those Recorded
2. Sertraline Can Prevent Recurrent Depressive Episodes In Diabetics
3. Personality Impacts Arthritis
4. Eating together has both psychological and health impacts
5. Attitude Towards Ethnic Identity Impacts Stress Levels
6. Poor health care in Russia maybe causing Decline in its Population
7. Startling Expose – Physicians Often Have No Regular Source Of Health Car
8. Debate Rages over firing of HIV infected health care workers
9. Want a Healthy brew? Have some Tea!
10. Patient’s perception of health status helps in better recover
11. Antioxidants protect health tissue in people undergoing radiation therapy.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2017)... , ... June 27, 2017 , ... Today, June 27th ... from PTSD. Yet less than 20% will receive adequate care due to lack of ... won't receive any care at all. And left untreated, veterans are at an increased ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Antoine Dental Center is now offering various types of dental implants ... as a support for prosthetic teeth, such as crowns, bridges, or dentures. An implant is ... sturdy, lasting new root for the tooth. , Several types of dental implants are ...
(Date:6/26/2017)... , ... June 26, 2017 , ... LARKR™ , ... health professionals in every state across the country to join its online treatment platform. ... way for therapists to reach a substantially greater number of people in need nationwide, ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... June 24, 2017 , ... Create a feel-good lyric music video in Final Cut Pro X ... the timeline and write in the lyrics to any song. ProLyric flies in the text ... of the text can be added modularly for optimal control. ProLyric makes editing any music ...
(Date:6/25/2017)... ... ... Health Month and the focus is on prostate cancer. Second only to skin cancer, ... most common cause of cancer related death today; lung cancer remains in the number one ... cancer during his lifetime. Those at highest risk are men who have a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/8/2017)... 8, 2017  StatLab Medical Products ("StatLab" ... manufacturer of diagnostic supplies for the anatomic ... & Company LP ("Cressey & Company"), a ... growth-focused investment in the Company. Cressey & ... from selling shareholder, Prairie Capital, L.P., with ...
(Date:6/5/2017)... June 5, 2017 Kohll,s Pharmacy & Homecare is the ... the United States . The Raizer is a simple ... person up to an almost-standing position within a ... by one assistant and does not require any ... that a child can operate it, and lightweight ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... CHICAGO , May 30, 2017 Hill-Rom Holdings, ... th Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, June 13, ... John Greisch , Hill-Rom,s president and chief executive officer, ... The live audio webcast can be accessed at ... after conclusion of the live event through September 13, 2017. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: