Priming Effects of Television Food Advertising on Eating Behavior

An advertisement is an information that is publicly communicated through mass communication. Advertising brings notice to a wide range of consumer products, including food. Health advocates have concentrated on the predominance of advertising and promoting calorie-thick low-nutrient food as a critical contributor to the obesity epidemic. This examination tests the theory that exposure to nourishment publicizing during TV review may likewise add to corpulence by activating programmed snacking of food. In addition, advertising for nourishment and refreshments convey incredible nourishment utilization signs, including pictures of alluring models eating, eating at non-fast times, and positive feelings connected to food consumption.

Watching TV is the most common leisure activity for people over the age of 15, it is also a contributing factor to the rise in obesity (Boulous et al., 2012) due to the association with the reduction in physical activity levels, food marketing, and advertising promoting unhealthy foods, and eating behavior. However, Reality TV programs that focus on weight and appearance are becoming increasingly popular and research is only beginning to investigate the impact reality TV programs may have on viewers.

Get quality help now
checked Verified writer

Proficient in: Advertising

star star star star 4.7 (348)

“ Amazing as always, gave her a week to finish a big assignment and came through way ahead of time. ”

avatar avatar avatar
+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

One potential way that reality TV may influence food consumption is through social comparisons. Social comparison theory suggests that human beings have a natural instinct to evaluate their own abilities and attributes by comparing themselves to comparative others (Festinger, 1954). There are two sorts of social comparison, upward comparison, and downward comparison. Upward social comparisons occur when one compares themselves to someone who is unrivaled in a certain area and may reflect a need for self-improvement.

Get to Know The Price Estimate For Your Paper
Number of pages
Email Invalid email

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

You won’t be charged yet!

In contrast, downward social comparisons involve evaluating oneself in comparison to someone who is inferior to a particular characteristic, perhaps demonstrating self-esteem (Festinger, 1954; Wills, 1981).

Both types of comparisons have been found to influence the way that individuals feel (Lin & Kulik et al., 2002) and behave (Green & Saenz et al., 1995). To date, studies examining social comparison theory have largely focused on the negative impact of upward social comparison by examining the impact of exposure to thin-ideal images in the media on self-perception. Thin ideal media has been linked to eating disorder symptomology in women, lower body satisfaction, and greater negative effect among women (Cattarin et al., 2000). However, few studies have experimentally examined downward social comparisons, which theoretically, should operate in the direction and have a positive effect on eating behavior, body satisfaction, and mood. Dietary restraint was investigated as a potential moderator of the impact of viewing a weight loss program. It was predicted that women with higher on a measure of restrained eating would eat more food when exposed to the weight loss program than would women who scored lower on this measure.

The content of the activities in the experimental footage was designed to focus on the physical appearance of the contestants and contained footage of the intense exercise training in conjunction with contestants about the lifestyle and problems associated with being overweight. In contrast, the control footage contained no focus on appearance and depicted the renovation process and associated problems and stressors.

Participants recruited upon receiving ethics approval from the Social and Behavioral Research Ethics committee were randomly allocated in the laboratory using simple randomization to either the weight loss program condition (experimental) or the home renovation program (control) condition.

Two mixed-between groups ANOVAS were conducted to compare the effects of the condition on body satisfaction and mood. For body satisfaction, there was the interaction between time and condition.

Moreover, BMI which stands for body mass index BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his or her height in meters squared. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) now defines normal weight, overweight, and obesity according to BMI rather than the traditional height/weight charts. Overweight is a BMI of 27.3 or more for women and 27.8 or more for men.

The present study investigated the effects of exposure to popular weight-loss reality TV programs on body satisfaction, mood, and snack food consumption leading to lower body satisfaction less positive affect than exposure to a control television show. Results indicated that there was no important difference between the conditions on body satisfaction. Another aim of the present study was to examine the potential impact of a weight-loss reality TV program on mood. Participants exposed to the weight loss program experienced less positive mood than the control participants, and this experience was heightened for participants with a greater BMI. The present study also measured snack food consumption in response to exposure to different types of TV programs and the possible moderating effects of differences in dietary restraint.

However, when dietary restraint was taken into consideration, Green and Saenz (1995) found that participants with higher dietary restraint ate more in the overweight peer condition. On the other hand, the opposite effect was evident for participants with a low level of dietary restraint. A greater percentage of these participants consumed food in the control condition. The results of the present study should be considered in light of some potential limitations, only 20% of the participants in the sample consumed any food at all, but significant interaction was still evident between condition and dietary restraint on food consumption. Notwithstanding these limitations, the present research suggests that this type of program is not useful in overall efforts to reduce obesity or weight-related stigma.

Cite this page

Priming Effects of Television Food Advertising on Eating Behavior. (2021, Jul 01). Retrieved from

Priming Effects of Television Food Advertising on Eating Behavior
Live chat  with support 24/7

👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!

Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.

get help with your assignment