Weighing Women Down: Messages on Weight Loss and Body Shaping in Editorial Content in Popular Women's Health and Fitness Magazines

@article{Willis2014WeighingWD,
  title={Weighing Women Down: Messages on Weight Loss and Body Shaping in Editorial Content in Popular Women's Health and Fitness Magazines},
  author={Laura E. Willis and Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick},
  journal={Health Communication},
  year={2014},
  volume={29},
  pages={323 - 331}
}
Exposure to idealized body images has been shown to lower women's body satisfaction. Yet some studies found the opposite, possibly because real-life media (as opposed to image-only stimuli) often embed such imagery in messages that suggest thinness is attainable. Drawing on social cognitive theory, the current content analysis investigated editorial body-shaping and weight-loss messages in popular women's health and fitness magazines. About five thousand magazine pages published in top-selling… 

An analysis of weight loss articles and advertisements in mainstream women’s health and fitness magazines

TLDR
As a well-utilized American media format, health and fitness-focused magazines have an opportunity to communicate frequent, accurate messaging about healthy weight reduction and limit advertisements that may include misleading claims.

“Context, Please?” The Effects of Appearance- and Health-Frames and Media Context on Body-Related Outcomes

TLDR
Overall, health promoters should focus their campaigns on the health aspects of health-related behaviors and should consider promotion on social media platforms, keeping in mind that not only the framing, but also the context, might have effects on body-related outcomes.

Technology, Body Image, and Disordered Eating

The present chapter is intended to provide a theoretical and empirical overview of the link between technologies, body image, and eating behavior, particularly disordered eating. In general terms,

Broadening the Scope of Social Media Effect Research on Body Image Concerns

The article “Social media effects on young women’s body image concerns: Theoretical perspectives and an agenda for research” by Perloff (2014) extends the study of media effects on women’s body image

The effect of viewing fitness imagery on body dissatisfaction: sex and physical activity differences

TLDR
Exposure to idealised images resulted in increases in body dissatisfaction across all groups compared to controls, and neither sex nor physical activity levels buffer young adults from the negative effects of viewing images featuring idealised bodies.

Why and How Should I Exercise? A Content Analysis of Popular Magazines.

TLDR
Investigation of how exercise is portrayed in popular, non-fitness focused magazines showed popular magazines often represent exercise as something that can be completed in a short time frame with meaningful benefits, but an overemphasis on appearance in young adults is apparent, which could undermine intrinsic motivation and behavior.

“We’re Continually Comparing Ourselves to Something”: Navigating Body Image, Media, and Social Media Ideals at the Nexus of Appearance, Health, and Wellness

TLDR
The findings from the research provide timely guidance on mechanisms to promote positive body image amidst a rapidly changing media landscape, including the use of critical media literacy and social media literacy interventions.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 57 REFERENCES

Nutrition, dieting, and fitness messages in a magazine for adolescent women, 1970-1990.

  • E. O. GuillenS. Barr
  • Medicine
    The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
  • 1994

Placing the Burden on the Individual: Overweight and Obesity in African American and Mainstream Women's Magazines

TLDR
The results suggest that although a wide range of strategies were being offered, the vast majority were behavioral changes with an individual solution focus.

Looking Good Versus Feeling Good: An Investigation of Media Frames of Health Advice and Their Effects on Women’s Body-related Self-perceptions

The present research had two goals: (1) to document how health advice is framed on the covers of women’s health magazines, and (2) to investigate whether exposure to appearance frames (i.e., do

The Elastic Body Image: The Effect of Television Advertising and Programming on Body Image Distortions in Young Women

The emphasis the media place on the thin ideal body image may be responsible for body size overestimations that women make, and indirectly cause increases in anorexia nervosa and bulimia. In this

The role of the media in body image concerns among women: a meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies.

TLDR
The findings support the notion that exposure to media images depicting the thin-ideal body is related to body image concerns for women.

Weight control content of women's magazines: bias and accuracy.

TLDR
The 'diet' magazines devoted the highest portion of pages to weight control information, followed by the teen, top-seller, and new woman magazines in that order.

Weight control as portrayed in popular magazines

Cultural expectations of thinness in women: A partial replication and update of magazine content

TLDR
The upward trend in cosmetic surgery articles indicates that cosmetic surgery is now viewed as an alternate means to diet and exercise that women may choose to alter their physical appearance.

Is Dieting Advice From Magazines Helpful or Harmful? Five-Year Associations With Weight-Control Behaviors and Psychological Outcomes in Adolescents

TLDR
Frequent reading of magazine articles about dieting/weight loss strongly predicted unhealthy weight-control behaviors in adolescent girls, but not boys, 5 years later, suggesting a need for interventions aimed at reducing exposure to, and the importance placed on, media messages regarding dieting and weight loss.

The role of the mass media in promoting a thin standard of bodily attractiveness for women

Eating disorders appear to be more common among women than among men and more common now than they were in the past. Recent speculation has focused upon the role played by an unrealistically thin
...