Communication and Health: Systems Perspective

by Lewis Donohew, Eileen Berlin Ray; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1990

More critical attention is also being paid to health images in entertainment content, especially in that most powerful of all media, television/cable. Health professionals have begun to put mass media channels high on their hit list of motivators that keep Americans in "unhealthy lifestyles" ( Townes, 1984). Popular literature has gotten into the content analysis act with nonscientific ratings of "healthy" and "unhealthy" TV. Author Michele Salcedo declared war on "cookie-junkie" "Webster," the nicotine, caffeine, and no-seat-belts of "Hill Street Blues," and the bar-hopping of "Miami Vice." The "all-around heroine" of the 1986 "rating" was Mary Beth Lacey of Cagney and Lacey ," who exercises, does not drink or smoke, and deals with stress in a positive fashion ( "Keeping TV healthy"," 1986, p. 22).

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