Lege Artis Medicinae

[Written and pictorial content in magazines and their possible relationship to eating disorders]

SZABÓ Kornélia, TÚRY Ferenc

FEBRUARY 20, 2012

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2012;22(02)

[In the current study we reviewed the literature on studies exploring the magazine reading frequency, written and pictorial contents appearing in magazines and their connection to eating disorders. Reading different fashion and fitness magazines has effect on readers through several indirect and direct factors and through trustable and false information. They affect readers' body satisfaction, self-esteem, eating habits and more generally their health behavior. Different theories have been explained to account for these associations and several other studies examined empirically the connection between the frequency of magazine reading and eating disorders, as well as the symptoms leading to eating disorders. METHODS - We analyzed and summarized articles between 1975 and 2009 from online databases. We used the following sources: Science Direct (http://www.sciencedirect. com/), Springer-Verlag GmbH (http://www.springerlink.com/) and SAGE Publications Ltd (http://online.sagepub. com/). RESULTS - The pictorial and written magazine contents were associated with the development and maintenance of eating disorders or with symptoms that might lead to eating disorders. The publications comparing to previous years found elevated number of unhealthy food advertisements, unhealthy and radical diet plans and exercise programs. Furthermore the magazines contained conflicting messages about nutrition, body functions and eating disorders. CONCLUSION - Written and pictorial magazine contents, messages might increase the risk for development of eating disorders, especially in vulnerable individuals.]

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