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Title: A Place At the Table for Weight-Based Public Health Media?: Effects of Anti-Obesity Media on Body Dissatisfaction, Drive for Thinness, and Mood
Authors: Worthen, Victoria
Advisors: Allen, Lesley
Contributors: Hambrick, James
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: The effect of media on the development of eating disorders has been explored and confirmed in various studies. However, with the increased concern for obesity in our country, public health officials have introduced new types of weight-focused media that may have an impact on eating disorder risk. In this study participants viewed two types of public health television commercials which were developed with the intention of leading viewers toward a healthy weight. One type of commercial worked to achieve this goal by portraying the negative consequences of obesity (anti-obesity commercials) while the other type of commercial hoped to reach this goal by portraying desirable aspects of thinness (pro-thin commercials). I hypothesized that anti-obesity media would have more negative effects on eating disorder symptoms, total mood disturbance and negative emotions than commercials that portrayed thinness in a positive manner. Participants included randomly selected female undergraduate students at Princeton University. Results showed that anti-obesity media did not lead to any significant difference in eating disorder risk from commercials portraying the desirability of being thin. However, participants did report higher total mood disturbance and negative emotions after viewing anti-obesity commercials. This calls into question the effectiveness of these commercials in motivating viewers toward a healthy weight. These results can contribute to suggestions for more effective obesity-focused public health media.
Extent: 78 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2017

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