advertising, advertising appeals, advertising effects, advertising legislation, advertising regulation, advertising strategies, content analysis, marketing, mass communication, mass communication theory, cultivation theory, framing theory, semiotics theory, media, television advertising, television commercials, adult obesity, obesity, overweight, weight loss, health, health claims, health communication, health promotion, nutrient claims, public health, wellness, food, food advertising, nutrition, science, business, consumption, consumer affairs, consumer perceptions, consumer protection, Federal regulation, government
Obesity is one of the major public health issues in the United States, often regarded as part of a global crisis. Companies invest billions of dollars each year towards television advertising campaigns aimed at convincing audiences how their ground-breaking discovery 'battles the bulge' or somehow offers an increased health benefit. This study examined how advertisers presented health-related claims, including health and nutrient-content claims, in U.S. adult-targeted television food commercials. The claims were compared to FTC, FDA, and USDA laws, regulations, and recommendations. A content analysis of food advertising was conducted of commercials from major and cable network programs broadcast during prime-time in the first quarter of 2009. The majority of claims match current regulations when compared to Federal references. The results show that Nutrient and Wellness claims were the most frequently cited. The type of benefit, Healthy Eating, emerged almost 3 times more than any other benefit type. This is also similar to those results which suggest advertisers' intentions were to promote overall wellness in their content delivery. As such, the Wellness Approach was identified and conceptualized, leading towards full development of a Wellness Effect theory. Implications and future research opportunities are discussed on both a theoretical and practical level.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Delgado, Cristina, "Claims Of Mistaken Identity: An Examination Of U.S. Television Food Commercials And The Adult Obesity Issue" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4161.