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Is there a connection between consuming mass media and making healthy choices?

Article / Review by on February 6, 2012 – 8:12 pmNo Comments

Is there a connection between consuming mass media and making healthy choices?

Indulging in mass media could prompt you to make healthier decisions, according to findings(subscription required) recently published inInternational Journal of Public Health.

Is there a connection between consuming mass media and making healthy choices?

Italian researchers examined data from a sample of more than 1,000 people from a large epidemiological study. Participants completed a survey on how often they watched TV or read newspapers, magazines or online news sites, and they provided additional information about their medical history, lifestyle and dietary habits. The Atlantic reports:

The people who were most exposed to information delivered by any mass media source reported higher adherence to a Mediterranean diet, which is considered the healthiest eating model in the world and the most effective for reducing the risk of chronic and neurodegenerative diseases. More precisely, they reportedly ate less animal fats and more fruits and fresh fish.

Researchers say the results suggest that when people consume mass media for information purposes, rather than entertainment, it can positively affect their health. Still, plenty of studies have shown that hours spent watching TV can increase obesity risk in children and adults, so more research is needed to fully understand how media habits influence health habits.

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by Or Hiltch

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* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine

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