Selling Stereotypes: Weight Loss Infomercials, Sexism, and Weightism

Selling Stereotypes: Weight Loss Infomercials, Sexism, and Weightism Research suggests that television reflects the negative cultural stereotypes of women and heavyweight people. The purpose of this study was to analyze the extent to which paid programming reflects the gender role expectations that have been observed in other kinds of programming and, in particular, the gender representations and weight-stereotypic messages in weight loss infomercials. The results show that images of women outnumbered those of men 2:1, thin women appeared 3 times as frequently as heavyweight women, and the “scientific expert” was always a man. Weight loss infomercials contained more references to unrestricted than to restricted eating, promoted weight loss without exercise more than with exercise, and portrayed heavyweight people as unhappy and unattractive. The implications of the findings for weight-related prejudice and stigma are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Selling Stereotypes: Weight Loss Infomercials, Sexism, and Weightism

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1020284731543
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Research suggests that television reflects the negative cultural stereotypes of women and heavyweight people. The purpose of this study was to analyze the extent to which paid programming reflects the gender role expectations that have been observed in other kinds of programming and, in particular, the gender representations and weight-stereotypic messages in weight loss infomercials. The results show that images of women outnumbered those of men 2:1, thin women appeared 3 times as frequently as heavyweight women, and the “scientific expert” was always a man. Weight loss infomercials contained more references to unrestricted than to restricted eating, promoted weight loss without exercise more than with exercise, and portrayed heavyweight people as unhappy and unattractive. The implications of the findings for weight-related prejudice and stigma are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 13, 2004

References

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