The effect of ‘supersize’ images on the receipt of health messages about being overweight

Dorota Juszczyk, Fiona Gillison, Steven Dean

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Background: Images depicting morbidly obese models often accompany articles about the health risks of being overweight. We investigated whether a mismatch between the body size depicted, and that of the health message’s target population, affects risk perception.

Methods: 587 participants (291 overweight/ obese and 296 healthy weight participants) were randomly allocated to read a health message presented with: a photo of an overweight model, a photo of a morbidly obese model or no photo. Models were presented on exactly the same background and were gender specific.

Results: Overweight/ obese participants viewing a morbidly obese image perceived health risks to start from a higher body weight than those who saw the health message alongside no image (F(2, 291)= 3.161, p= .044).

Discussion: The findings suggest that exaggerated media images might affect how overweight individuals interpret message about health risks.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013
EventEuropean Health Psychology Conference 2013 - Bordeaux, France
Duration: 16 Jul 201320 Jul 2013

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Health Psychology Conference 2013
CountryFrance
CityBordeaux
Period16/07/1320/07/13

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    Juszczyk, D., Gillison, F., & Dean, S. (2013). The effect of ‘supersize’ images on the receipt of health messages about being overweight. Abstract from European Health Psychology Conference 2013, Bordeaux, France.