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Fast, Painless and Pound-Shedding: A Framing Analysis of Diet and Fitness Coverage in Teen and Women's Magazines and an ...

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1 FAST, PAINLESS AND POUND-SHEDDING: A FRAMING ANALYSIS OF DIET AND FITNESS COVERAGE IN TEEN AND WOMEN’S MAGA ZINES AND A LOOK AT SURROUNDING ADVERTISEMENTS FROM 2005 By SARAH WOOD A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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2 Copyright 2006 by Sarah Wood

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3 To all the people who have suppor ted me throughout this journe y: my fianc, Derrick Harmon, father, Frank Layne Wood, mother, Joy Wood, sist er, Emily Wood, and to my faculty advisor Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers for her guida nce throughout this process. Her astute editing skills and knowledge of the subject were invaluable. I would al so like to acknowledge Dr. Debbie Treise and Dr. Johanna Cleary. All three professors aided my efforts to crafting this thesis and were excellent mentors throughout my master’s program. I also thank my father, Frank Layne Wood, for all the wisdom, encourag ement and writing lessons he has given me throughout the years, and I thank my mother, Joy, and sister, Emily. Their support meant a great deal. Lastly, I thank my fianc, Derrick Harmon, who made me laugh when things got stressful.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .10 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................14 Review of Literature........................................................................................................... ....14 Body Image: Teen and Women Readers.........................................................................14 Content and Its Advertising.............................................................................................21 Advertising Effects on Readers.......................................................................................22 Review of Theory............................................................................................................... ....23 Framing Theory...............................................................................................................23 Social-Comparison Theory..............................................................................................25 Literature Review in Sum and Research Questions...............................................................26 3 METHODS...................................................................................................................... .......28 Why Magazines and How They Were Selected.....................................................................28 How the Articles Were Chosen..............................................................................................30 How the Articles Were Coded and Interpreted.......................................................................31 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........33 Findings for Editorial Content................................................................................................3 3 How Did Women’s Magazines Frame Inform ation Related to Di et and Exercise, through Both Content and Graphics, during 2005?.....................................................35 The fast-and-easy cheer............................................................................................35 The quest for beauty.................................................................................................37 The doctor’s visit......................................................................................................38 The sinister or scary frame.......................................................................................39 Women’s graphics in review....................................................................................40 How Did Female-Oriented Teen Ma gazines Frame Such Content?...............................40 The quest for beauty frame.......................................................................................41 The celebrity star-power frame................................................................................42 The great you frame: Confidence and body image..................................................43 Eating-disorder frame...............................................................................................44 Graphics for teen magazines....................................................................................45 What Types of Advertisements Were Placed Adjacent to Such Content in Both the Teen and Women’s Magazines?..................................................................................45

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6 Findings for Advertisements...................................................................................................4 7 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION....................................................................................53 Framing Differences in Teen and Women’s Magazines........................................................53 What the Diet and Fitness Frames Tells us About Eating Disorders.....................................54 Implications from the Research Questions.............................................................................57 RQ1: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Women’s Magazines....................................57 RQ2: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Teen Magazines............................................58 RQ3: Advertisements Adjacent to Diet and Fitness Articles..........................................59 The Big Picture: Women’s Magazines...................................................................................60 The Big Picture: Teen Magazines...........................................................................................60 Theory......................................................................................................................... ............61 Framing Theory...............................................................................................................61 Social Comparison Theory..............................................................................................62 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .........62 Additional Research and Sugges tions for Magazine Editors.................................................63 APPENDIX: COPY OF CODE SHEET AND DIRECTIONS USED FOR STUDY.................66 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..69 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................74

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7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitness editorial content for teen magazines...................................................................................................................... .....51 4-2 List of articles and advertisements f ound in diet and fitness editorial content for women’s magazines...........................................................................................................51 4-3 List of top four editorial frames, photogr aphs and advertisement products in diet and fitness coverage for teen and women’s magazines............................................................51 4-4 List of characteristics found in diet a nd fitness coverage for women’s magazines...........52 4-5 List of characteristics found in diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines....................52 5-1 List of top frames for diet and fitnes s editorial coverage in teen magazines.....................65 5-2 List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in women’s magazines.............65 5-3 List of top advertisement frames for teen magazines........................................................65 5-4 List of top frames advertisemen t frames for women’s magazines....................................65

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8 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication FAST, PAINLESS AND POUND-SHEDDING: A FRAMING ANALYSIS OF DIET AND FITNESS COVERAGE IN TEEN AND WOMENS MAGA ZINES AND A LOOK AT SURROUNDING ADVERTISEMENTS FROM 2005 By Sarah Wood December 2006 Chair: Kim Walsh-Childers Major Department: Mass Communication It is an alluring promise: Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel satisfied, or, for another variant, try Cosmos fast, painless, pound-shed ding plan. These days, it is hard not to notice all the diet and fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the content inside. But what exactly ar e they telling readers? This st udy analyzes the diet and fitness text and graphics found in ten magazine titles, fi ve womens magazines and five teen magazines, and the surrounding advertisement during 2005. It us es framing theorywhich dictates how a reader may perceive information through the textual wording, phrasing and examplesand social comparison theorywhich in this case is how one compares themselves to media images. This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics in the two genres (womens and teen magazine s) for diet and fitne ss coverage. The womens magazines focused on primarily fast-and-easy techni ques, beauty, long-term health and sinister scare tactics. The teen magazi nes, on the other hand, centered more on beauty, celebrities, confidence and body image, and eating disorders. Th erefore, the teen magazines dealt with outer appearances (fame, beauty) a nd inner struggles (confidence, eating disorders), whereas the

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9 women’s versions contained more of a focus on motivation (speed/ease, scare tactics) and longterm health benefits. Staying fit and healthy for beauty’s sake was the only constant theme between the two genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only significant common f actor in all editorial frames, advertisements and article photos fo r both teen and women’s magazines. For the women’s magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in advertisements and editorial content. For teen magazines, edit orial content had a higher percentage of units with a beauty tone than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION It is an alluring promise: “Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel satisfied,” or, for another variant, try “Cos mo’s fast, painless, pound-shedding plan” (Micco, 2003, p. 148; & McMorris, 2001, p. 137). Th ese days, it is hard not to notice all the diet and fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the content insi de. And why not? Fortyseven percent of all Americans, after all, turn to magazines as their top source for dietary supplement and nutrition information, according to a survey conducted in 2000 (Kava, 2002). Even more, magazine health coverage may be on the rise, and teen magazines are following that trend (Bonner, & McKay, 2000). In April 2005, for instance, CosmoG irl! added a monthly fivepage health section to its magazine, an increase from its one to two pages previously devoted to the topic (60 sec, 2005). “We decided there is an obesity epidemic, and th ere are a lot of teens with eating disorders like anor exia,” CosmoGirl! Editor-in-Chief Susan Schultz said on the decision to create a health section. “It's really scar y” (60 sec, 2005). But gi ven that rigid diet and fitness regimes often are paired with a he fty dollar amount of food advertising in many magazines, is the actual coverage also “scary?” Only a narrow subset of magazine studies on diet and fitness ar e specifically about editorial content. This content analysis and fr aming study, however, atte mpted to examine three aspects of diet and fitness coverage in women’ s and teen magazines. It sought to answer the following research questions: (1) How did women’s magazines frame information related to diet and exercise, through both content and graphics during 2005? (2) How did female-oriented teen magazines frame such content? (3 ) What types of advertisements were placed adjacent to such content in both the teen and women’s magazines?

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11 Although much research has been done on the possible connecti on between magazine exposure and body image, fewer studies center on di et and fitness editorial coverage, especially studies that compare magazines aimed at younger females and thei r counterparts targeting adult women. The majority of research on this topic fo cuses on graphics or advertisements. However, to get a complete picture of the message being se nt to the reader, one needs to look at what the story is saying contextually as well as the pi ctorial message. By looki ng at all three aspects— editorial content, graphics and advertisements —this study offers scholar s, media professionals and readers a better understanding of the entire me ssage. Given that the edito rial content, graphic elements and nearby ads may send conflicting me ssages, examining only one element may give an inaccurate view of the overall message being sent. The answers to this study’s research questions are important for three reasons. The first is the extent of women’s and teen’s concerns a bout and disorders relate d to food, nutrition and exercise. On any given day, 56% of American women are dieting, and 75% of them consider themselves too fat (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). As for teens, 80% of girl s go on a diet at least once before the age of 18 (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). Eating disorder statistics are just as stagge ring, if not even more so. About eight million women and teens are affected with eating disorder s, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive overeating (Wilson & Blackhurst 1999). Psychology Today reported that such disorders afflict up to 40% of co llege students at some point duri ng their college years, and 13% of high school girls purge (Marano, December 10, 2004). But teens and young adults aren’t alone. A recent study shows an increase—fro m 5 to 10%—in women older than 40 receiving treatment for anorexia (Adult Anorexia, June 20 05). In fact, weight ga in ranked second only to memory loss as the most feared consequence of aging in a 1995 study of adult women (Wilson &

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12 Blackhurst, 1999). Regardless of age, however, th e effects of these eating disorders can be lasting. Adolescents with bulimia nervosa have a 20-fold increased risk of continuing symptoms throughout adulthood, and only 30 to 40% of anorexics ever fully recover (Kotler et al., 2001; Hesse-Bilber et al., 2006). According to The Eati ng Disorders Coalition, anorexia has the highest mortality rate—approximately 20%—of any mental illness (Hesse-Bilber et al., 2006). While such numbers for bulimia are more difficult to obtain because many of its suffers go undetected, its effects are also potentially deadly, includ ing kidney failure and congestive heart failure (Hesse-Bilber et al, 2006). A second reason for this study’s impo rtance is that frequent diet ing, in the vast majority of cases, actually leads to increased weight in th e long run. U.S. News and World Report reported on a 2006 study of 149 obese women. Women who ha d “dieted before age 14 were twice as likely to have dieted 20 times or more and had the highest BMIs” (Spake, January 16, 2006). Only 79% of the study’s participants were able to maintain significant weight loss from a diet over a long period of time, and ma ny actually gained weight from such “yo-yo” dieting (Spake, January 16, 2006). The third reason for the importance of this study is that dieting is the single most important predictor of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia (Bos chi et al., 2003). Boschi et al. (2003) states that “dieting, a behavioral phenomenon which is becoming more and more common among adolescents as a result of their pers istent endeavors to modify their physical appearance, is certainly involve d in the pathogenesis of eating disorders” (p. 285). Likewise, Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc., found that dieting, along with body dissatisfaction and the drive for thinness, are the primary precur sors to anorexia and bulimia development (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999).

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13 This study strives to identify similarities and differences in mass-marketed, highcirculation teen and women’s magazines in rega rd to diet and fitne ss editorial content and advertising. In order to do th is, the study uses framing theory. According to the theory, how dieting and fitness stories are written—their use of catchphrases metaphors, exemplars, etc.— help to clarify how readers may perceive the information (Zoch, 2001; Hertog and McLeod, 2001). For instance, if an article constantly refe rs to simplicity and quickness, the reader may infer that exercise done in the prescribed way is easy to do or that si gnificant weight loss will follow quickly if the reader uses the techniques the magazine desc ribes. These frames, then, help us predict what kinds of ideas readers of both teen and women’s magazines are gaining related to dieting and fitness. Chapter 2 describes a review of previous lit erature on body image, the media’s role in body image disturbance and advertising influences. It also includes a di scussion of framing and social comparison theories. Chapter 3 describes the methods to be used in the study, including selection of editorial content and advertising to be anal yzed and data analysis procedures. Chapter 4 describes the frames found in both genres and discus es the types of advertis ements placed next to such articles. Lastly, Chapter 5 discusses the im plications of the findings, the study’s limitations and potential ideas for additional research.

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14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Chapter 2 provides a review of previous rese arch linking exposure to body-focused media content, particularly that of magazines, w ith girls’ and women’s development of poor body image; unhealthy attitudes toward diet, nutrition and general eating habits ; and disordered eating patterns, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia a nd overeating. In addition, the chapter describes the theoretical underpinnings of the study, incl uding social comparison theory, which links magazine consumption—specifically its use of ultra-thin models—with disordered eating and unhealthy foodand nutrition-related attitudes. The chapter also discusses framing theory, which focuses on how editorial content is written and presented, and how this can influence readers’ understanding of fitn ess and dieting. Review of Literature Body Image: Teen and Women Readers Media and advertising effects on body image have been widely studied, with researchers examining everything from the frequency of magazi nes’ use of thin, airbrushed models to the repetitive focus on certain health topics and frames This is especially true for magazines and diet content. Ronald Bishop (2001) writes Articles about diets and dieting appear in nearly every issue of most women’s magazines. Those who buy women’s magazines often read mo re than one article per issue about the latest diet regimens. Medical professionals and communication schol ars argue that this focus by media companies on the benefits of di eting has caused an increase in the number of people who suffer from ea ting disorders. (p. 221) An historic example of this—described in a study by Harrison and Cantor (1997) — occurred from 1950 to 1984, when advertisements significantly increased their usage of thin models in popular magazines. During the same time, body measurements and weights of Playboy centerfolds and Miss America contestants also began to shrink. Popul ar women’s magazines

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15 followed suit, increasing their dieting coverage from a yearly average of 17.1 articles in the 1960s to 29.6 articles in the 1970s. The norma l weight of U.S. women younger than 30, however, rose by five to six pounds (Harri son & Cantor, 1997). By 1979 to 1988, 69% of Playboy centerfolds and 60% of pag eant contestants weighed at le ast 15% below their expected, healthy body weight (Harrison & Cantor, 1997). The authors writes This is noteworthy because being at leas t 15% below one’s expected body weight is considered symptomatic of a norexia nervosa (American Psyc hiatric Association, 1994). At the same time, the number of dieting and exer cise articles in popul ar women’s magazines increased year by year during the period of study, whereas the normal weight range of American women and the reported prevalence of eating disorders in the United States both continued to rise. (p. 42) Andersen and DiDomenico (1990) also f ound evidence for the link between dieting content and eating disorders in their study, whic h compared 10 male and 10 female magazines. The authors found that the female magazines c ontained 10.5 times more weight-loss articles and ads than the men’s magazines. This figure, they noted, mirrored the ratio of female to male cases of eating disorders (Andersen & DiDomenico, 1990) In other words, women were also about 10 times more likely to have an eating disorder. The authors state that such a difference could suggest anything from the magazines’ mere refl ection of society to the perpetuation or even creation of an overvaluation of extreme thinne ss. Either way, the magazines “impose genderrelated norms which then lead to sex-related differences in the fr equencies of critical behaviors,” including eating disorders (A ndersen and DiDomenico, 1990, p. 286). It is worth a note, however, that the magazines examined for this study were published in the 1980s before the Men’s Health phenomenon really came about, in which photographs of excessively muscular males with no body fat caused similar body perceptions issues with its readers who strove to look more like the depicted male ideal.

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16 Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) found a similar relationship among dieting, eating disorders and magazines consumption. They state that diet ers are about eight times more likely than nondieters to develop bulimia nervosa. This is mo st likely to occur am ong women following strict, more extreme diets, which fuel a cycle of bi ngeing and dieting. Body-im age frustration often results from dieting, and magazi ne food advertisers, knowing th at 56% of women are dieting, play on such feelings. Examples the authors use are magazine food advertisements that encourage “all-or-none” thinking by showing high-calorie and hi gh-fat foods as forbidden. The ads portray their lowor no-fat options as the ex ceptions to a world of bland-tasting diet foods and as the solution to all the reader’s wei ght problems. Two Kraft advertisements in Woman’s Day for instance, stated that “f inally women could ‘have pizza whenever’ they wanted” by using Kraft’s fat-free cheese or eat sandwiches “that actually have ‘rich taste’” by using a fat-free mayonnaise (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999, p. 117). Such ads, the authors suggest, “endorse the widespread fear and loathing of fa t,” “reinforce the ‘all-or-none’ thinking” and give the mistaken belief that a sought-after body can be achieved with the right products (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999, p. 117). Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) conclude “food advertisements not only promote the thin ideal, but also explicitly endorse high -risk eating behaviors as a way of attaining the ideal” (p. 117). Because of such research li nking the use of thin models, dieting content and increased eating disorders, some teen magazines recently have opted to provide “no-diet zones,” where entire magazines, such as YM, are devoid of any dieti ng content (Fine, 2002). Seventeen magazine follows a related policy. “We'll still ha ve workout, nutrition, but we're approaching it as not just helping [a reader] to act, but to understand why. And that's going to help change her habits,” CosmoGril! editor Schultz said of the publicatio n’s sister magazine (60 sec, 2005).

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17 Still, Bishop (2001) points out that 70% of adolescent girls are dieting, and 75% say they feel fat. Even if teen magazines do not advoc ate dieting, he argues, th ey may help create the desire to match an impossible-to-mimic ideal woman. Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) found just this in their study of female teen readership of beauty and fashion magazines. At the time of the study, 6.5 million adolescents read the three most popular teen magazines, Seventeen, Teen an d YM. The scholars argue that the messages in these magazines, which target the 12–14 age range, are often used in th e “identity development and gender socialization process” (Thoms en, Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 348). An underlying message the magazines get across: Happiness and success can be attained only with the right physical appearance, “ultra-thinness being the pref erred state of health and beauty” (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 348). Wilson and Blackhurst ( 1999) describe it as “an environment in which women equate thinness with success, happ iness, worthiness and control” (p. 114). The result of portraying an unattainable look can be readers’ acceptance of un realistic standards of beauty or even the development of unsafe, quick dieting methods, such as the excessive use of diet pills. However, Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) did find that the effects of magazine content were mediated by the reader’s previous state of mind. In other words, readers with high levels of weight anxiety before reading the magazines were more likely to engage in high-risk eating behaviors than readers who were less preoccupied with their weight. With a focus on ideal thin images, health info rmation is often replaced by beauty content in much of the diet and fitness coverage. This phenomenon does not occur only in teen magazines. One scholar concluded that “women ar e urged to take control of their bodies not for political or health reasons but to make th em aesthetically pleasi ng” (Douglas, 1994, p. 266). Other scholars agree. Thomsen (2002), for instance, found in his study that there was not a direct

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18 link between magazine reading and body-shape dist ress. Instead, the stronge st predictor of size concern came from society’s (and indirectly the medium’s) portrayal of men’s expectations for female thinness (Thomsen, 2002). Tuchman (1978) phr ases it as magazine content that sells “successful and therefore pleasurable feminin ity” (p. 163). Magazines define women by the men in their lives, and these men, as depicted in the magazines, expect an ideal shape (Tuchman, 1978; & Bishop, 2001). Weight, in fact, is a key factor in perceive d “positive appearance,” according to one study (Hesse-Biber et al., 2006). Hesse-B iber et al. (2006) write: “A woman’s sens e of self-esteem is dependent upon her perceived attractiveness to the opposite sex, and body weight plays an increasing importance in whether she is consid ered physically attractive” (p. 6). Likewise, Andersen and DiDomenico (1990) found that fema les placed a greater emphasis on weight when rating female attractiveness than did males rating female attractiveness. Some scholars (Thomsen, 2002) mention the frame of hope in fitness articles as a possible contributing factor in body perception. The prem ise is that through following the magazine’s diet, fitness and beauty advice, one could gain hope of attain ing the sought-af ter look. Thomsen (2002) hypothesizes in hi s literature review: Women’s magazines are desi gned to contribute to cons umption-based culture by encouraging readers to fantasize about the creation of an ideal or perfect self. By presenting readers with beautiful, inspiri ng role models to en vy and emulate, the magazines may instill a sense of hope that personal ideals and goals can and will be attained by following the prescrib ed course of action. (p. 988) This model places a direct, positive link be tween hope and magazine reading frequency and an indirect link between magazine readi ng frequency and body image concerns (Thomsen, 2002). However, when Thomsen set out to prove that such hypothesized “hope” existed in the articles, he found that it did not “mediate relationships between r eading, expected future weight

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19 gain or loss” or “body shape a nd size concerns” (p. 995). He did speculate, though, that this could be different when dealing with younger readers. He concludes Age and . development levels may have had an impact on the results of this study, particularly in assessing the role of hope . For younger subjects, particularly those who are in early adolescence, self-concept is fa r less stable, and perhaps more likely to be influenced by exposure. As a result, bot h self-evaluative and self-improvement comparisons may have a greater impact, either negatively or positively, on one’s level of hope. (p. 1010) However, he added, this speculation needs furt her study because his participants were not adolescents. This idea is also shown through a focus-gr oup study of Latina and Anglo women about ideal shapes portrayed in magazines and television programs (Goodman, 2002). Goodman (2002) found that even though women doubted the realism of such ideal looks and even criticized the strict methods they presumed models used to attain such shapes, they still sought to emulate the ideal. Goodman (2002) states They [the participants] were aware of and desired the economic and social rewards that thinness produces. Further, they were awar e of others’ acceptance of the ideal and understood that others often judge them by the ideal. Even when these women were critical of the ideal, they felt pressure to strive for thinness, given the social and economic consequences. (p. 722) These ultra-thin, ideal women depicted in magazines often are framed as being “model citizens” as well as being ideal ly thin (Pagliassotti, 2003; Hesse -Biber et al., 2006). Pagliassotti (2003) and Hesse-Biber et al. (2006) state that successful dieters ar e seen as following practices similar to those expected of exemplary citizens, such as possessing the Protestant work ethic, striving for self-improvement, being health -focused and displa ying self-control. Following this idea, a nonor unsuccessful diet er denotes laziness, l ack of control, selfindulgence and moral failure. Hesse-Biber et al. write

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20 It is the women’s “Horatio Alger” story [t hat] if you work hard, you will be rewarded; [it’s] as if thinness is achieva ble to all women who strive for it . Food choice and bodily outcome become a statement of self and one ’s self-worth more so for women. (p. 10) But this ideal appearance is often unattainable. Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) point out that this is exactly what makes ultra-thinne ss an effective marketing tool. They state Encouraging women to measure themselves against this standard allows advertisers to exploit not only women’s inev itable dissatisfaction with th eir own bodies but also their resulting feelings of failure and inadequacy . Food advert isements signal to women that the failure is more than a lapse in willpower ; it is a sign of weak character, even moral inadequacy. (p. 113) Another point of interest is the importan ce of the media’s role in nutrition-related knowledge and behavior. Signoriell i and Staples (1997) found in a study of elementary schoolaged children that “there was a strong positive relationship between television viewing and unhealthy perceptions of nutrition” (p. 289). The more TV a child watched—when other variables were accounted for—the more likely he or she was to (1) select unhealthy foods when allowed to choose foods he or sh e would rather eat, and (2) believe that the unhealthy foods were actually healthier than the more nutritious options. Another study by Harrison and Cantor (1997) found that, overall, ma gazines were even better predictors than television when looking at eating-disorder and dieting behaviors among college-aged males and females. For females, magazine readership was a significant predictor of drive for thinness—more so than television (Harrison & Cantor, 1997, p. 61). Likewise for males, magazine readership was a stronger predictor th an TV in male endorsement of thinness for themselves. The study did not find, however, an overall positive relationship between readership and male expectations of female thinness, but this changed when magazine effects were analyzed by genre (Harrison & Cantor, 199 7). Male entertainment magazines, such as Playboy and Penthouse were most likely to cause such expectations.

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21 These two studies—the Harrison and Cantor study and the Signorielli and Staples study— deal with different age groups and different hea lth factors. However, one key component binds them together. They both reveal the impact of the media, magazines in particular, on health attitudes and behaviors. Two other studies by Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) and Hesse-Biber et al. (2006) state that mass media messages, magazines included, may be one of the strongest transmitters of the excessively thin ideal. Wilson and Blackhurst ( 1999) suggest that such influences “normalize body dissatisfaction and weight preoccupation, glorify thinness, perpetuate unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty, and encourage a rigid diet ment ality” (p. 116). Hesse-Biber et al. agree, but these scholars pl ace more of the blame on capitalis t industries that fund such mass media portrayals—advertisers included. Content and Its Advertising Another dilemma arises when advertising is thrown into the body-image mix. Some scholars (Douglas, 1994; Bishop, 2001; Kilbourne, 1999) argue that articles urge women to diet, but food advertisements and recipes in the magazi nes pull the reader toward consumption of their often rich and unhealthy products. “Thus, women ar e caught in a classic Ma rxist double bind: for every dollar spent on the treatment of obesity, food manufact urers spend $100 to convince them to buy their products” (Douglas, 1994, p. 35). The re sult: “companies fa tten us up and the $30 billion a year diet industry tries to slim us down” (Bishop, 2001, p. 221). In short, women strive for an unattainable image portrayed in magazines, and therefore, are more likely too seek out diet products and articles (Kilbourne, 1999). However, the food marketers who advertise in women’s magazines tempt readers with fatty and/or sugarladen products. In sum, Kilbourne states, “the junk food industry and the diet indus try depend on each other” (p. 122).

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22 Food and beverage advertising recently ha s surpassed the once dominant automotive industry as “the single largest category for pub lishers,” (“Food & Beverage,” 2005). An article in MediaWeek reported that “through August [2005], ad pages in the (food) category were up a healthy 12% over last year, the best showing be sides Financial/Insurance /Real Estate among the major print categories, per Publishers Inform ation Bureau” (“Food & Beverage,” 2005, p. 6). The major ad-page contributors included Philip Morri s’ Altria (the parent company of Kraft and Nabisco), PepsiCo and Unilever (which make Lipton Tea and Slim-Fast) Unilever, in fact, increased its print coverage by 75% between 2003 and 2005 (“Food & Beverage,” 2005). Irene Grieco, the company’s print media manager, cited increased sales from the advertisements as the main reason. (“Food & Beverage,” 2005) So which magazines are receiving the incr eased ad revenue from food and beverage industries? Of the $2.16 billion food and bevera ge ad sales for 2004, the highest magazine category was women’s service magazines, which took in about $522 million of such sales (“Food & Beverages,” 2005). Better Homes and Garden, People, Good Housekeeping and Women’s Day were listed as the top four foodand-beverage ad carriers in 2004, with Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle jumping to fifth and sixth in 2005. In fact, of the top-ten list in 2005, seven were women’s magazines— O the Oprah Magazine, came in at 10th (“Food & Beverages,” 2005). Advertising Effects on Readers But what impact does such a dvertising really have on read ers? The advertising-effects argument centers on a passive audience theory, and Bishop (2001) states that many women know they are being manipulated by food advertising. Still, two advertisingeffects studies done by research companies Millward Brown and Nielsen Corp. found that “dolla r-for-dollar, magazines are a better buy for increasing c onsumer awareness” compared to TV (Morris, 1999). The

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23 Millward Brown study found that 19% of magazine readers surveyed were aware of an ad campaign; 16% were aware of the campaign wh en only viewed on TV (Morris, 1999). The percentage jumps to 65, however, when the indivi dual had seen both TV and magazine ads. The argument is furthered by a case study of magazi ne ads for a mustard product. Morris (1999) writes on the Millward Brown study In the case of Nabisco's Grey Poupon mustar d, the company spent more than $3 million in magazine advertising during the 16-week period. Ads ran in eight issues of four measured magazines. Brand penetration increased 22% in those households e xposed to the ads. It is worth a note, though, that some crit icized the findings of the Millward Brown research, stating that the brandpenetration numbers were too hi gh and that the data may have been misinterpreted (Morris, 1999). Review of Theory Framing Theory The main theory used in this study is frami ng. For the purpose of this study, framing is defined as “a number of themati cally related attributes related to a topic or news event that affects the pictures in our heads relating to that topic or event” (Zoch, 2001, p. 196). It goes beyond what to think about—as explained by the agenda-setting theory—and focuses on how one thinks about an issue or event (Zoch, 2001) Hertog and McLeod (2001) take the definition a step further, claiming that frames are “organizi ng principles . that work symbolically to meaningfully structure the social world” (p. 140). Therefore, for example, the public’s interest in back-and-forth elections may be a result of “horse-race” frames used by the media (Hertog & McLeod, 2001). On the other hand, the authors also s uggest that it could be the reverse. Frames may reflect social realities alr eady in place (Hertog & McLeod, 2001). From another angle, Dahinden (2005) defines fr ames as general patte rns of interpretation that usually consist of four parts: problem de finition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and

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24 treatment recommendation (p. 2). Frames, according to Dahinden, “structure information” in order to “reduce complexity” (Dahinden, 2005, p. 2). One example of framing is an analysis by Zoch (2001), who examined media framing of the Susan Smith case. The case—which dealt with a woman who was being tried for murdering her two children—erupted with a media-circus atmosphere and the media soon started covering itself. The author looked at five recurring devices in the media to determine any frames: metaphors, visual images, catchphrases, depi ctions and exemplars (Zoch, 2001, p. 199). From these, she found a frame of “media are part of the story,” which had six additional sub-themes that supported the frame. By looking at these devices, therefore, Zoch was able to figure out how people were informed about the Susan Smith case, which in this case, was that the media were also a part of the story. The framing method is the most appropriate fo r this study because of its focus on enabling the researcher to decipher how these magazines portrayed diet and fitn ess and how readers of this information, in turn, may think or act. This is shown through a media framing analysis of breast cancer and implants (Andsager & Powers, 2001). The authors contend “it is important to understand the ways in which journalistic framing of issues occurs, because framing influences public understanding and, consequently, policy formation” (Andsager & Powers, 2001, p. 164). The authors cite an increase in breast cancer public awareness fueled by the media’s attention (and its urgent-toned frame) in the 1990s. The atte ntion nudged Congress into enacting a bill that allocated Medicare coverage for biannual ma mmograms to women older than 65 (Andsager & Powers, 2001). Although an attached four-state statute giving free screening to poor women in the bill was eventually revoked, the media cove rage, the ensuing grassroots campaign and President Bill Clinton’s directives prompted the National Institute of Cancer to reallocate funds

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25 to breast cancer research, which increased by more than 34%. The Food and Drug Administration also banned sili con implants until their effects could be verified. The authors write Certain pieces of information are selected and put together within the genre constraints of a news story. These choices, based on news values and journalists’ inte rpretations of social responsibility, have consequences. Readers form impressions of the news stories’ central theme—issue and attitudes toward the policy act ors. For the most part, the media are the public’s only contact with techni cal fields . Thus, the me dia create boundaries within which debate can take place. (p. 166) By applying similar framing techniques found in these examples, this study is intended to determine how diet and fitness are framed in wome n’s and teen magazines. The implications of such findings, as shown by Andsager and Powers, are important because they could have an impact on readers’ perceptions and actions. If dieting articles are framed a certain way, they may alter one’s views on dieting and body image. Social Comparison Theory Another theory worth note is that of social comparison. Festinger (1954) first defined the theory in three parts: 1. Individua ls seek to improve themselves a nd to evaluate their abilities and opinions, 2. Individuals compare themselves to ot hers, and 3. Individual s prefer to compare themselves to people with whom they are similar. Throughout the years, the theory has been revised. Individuals, in accordance with the modified theory, coul d compare themselves to those to whom they were dissimilar, and social comp arison could occur in areas such as physical appearance and eating habits (Martin & Kennedy, 1993; Wheeler & Miyake, 1992). Comparison of physical appearan ces with those dissimilar to oneself are usually upward, meaning the individual doing the comparing ofte n feels inferior (Wheel er & Miyake, 1992). This is commonly the case when individuals engage in social comparison with ideal images found in magazines (“Body image evaluation,” 2004). Female s who consider celebr ities—often portrayed

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26 in magazines—as an important comparison group, for instance, were more likely to feel that their bodies were not adequate and to participate in pathological weight contro l practices to change this (“Body image evaluation, 2004). Likewise Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) concluded that adolescents use beauty and fashion magazines for “the purposes of self-evaluation and selfimprovement” (14). The authors state [Teen readers] make comparisons between them selves and the models in magazine photos; they come to accept these beauty ideals as re alistically attainable goals. The more they desire to attain these goals, a nd, in turn, the more they read beauty and fashion magazines, the more they may be willing, or feel pressu red, to try shortcuts or potentially harmful measures to attain them. (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 15) Literature Review in Sum and Research Questions Four major themes on diet and fitness cont ent and advertising dominate throughout the literature. First, the media, magazines in par ticular, are influential in both how we perceive ourselves and how we understand healthy eating habits. Secondly, health information has been displaced by beauty content in diet and fitness coverage. This is seen through the use of thin, airbrushed models, content that suggests that readers can hope to attain such an ideal body and the portrayed desire to be aesth etically pleasing for men. This pl ays into the third theme. As women strive to look more beautiful through ri gorous diet and fitne ss regimes, they are constantly tempted by advertisements for fatty and sugar-laden foods. Mu ch of the research suggests that women who diet of ten gain weight in the long r un. This causes frustration, which may cause poor body perception or even disorder ed eating. Lastly, food advertisements fill women’s magazines, with women’ s service magazines receiving th e lion’s share of ad revenue from the food industry. One thing lacking in the research, however, is a comparison of the editorial aspects of teen and women’s diet and fitness coverage. This stu dy was designed to fill in the gap by answering the following research questions: 1. How did wo men’s magazines frame information related to

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27 diet and exercise, through both content and graphics, during 2005? 2. How did female-oriented teen magazines frame such conten t? 3. What types of advertisem ents were placed adjacent to such content in both the teen and women’s magazines? By looking at these questions in this way, th e study will be able to analyze teen and women’s magazines separately and provide comparison data. Doing so will determine if similar frames are being used for the different age groups. This information could pinpoint more precisely what’s being said—not just shown pictorially—and to which group. Also, with the addition of the advertisement research ques tion, the study seeks both to confirm previous research that suggests the placement of fatty/sugary food advertisements next to dieting content and to show any differences in teen and women’s magazines advertisements.

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28 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Chapter 3 describes the method used for the study and outlines how the study was conducted. The method for this study was a qualita tive framing analysis of articles focusing on fitness, nutrition and diet in national women’s and teen magazines. The content of adjacent advertisements—ads that appeared immediately before, after or in the middle of the stories—also were analyzed. In both the articles and ads, this study looked at how the content was framed, noting the catch phrases, keywords, exemplars, source listings, metaphors, images and photos. This method follows the example of past fram ing studies, including the Zoch (2001) and the Hertog and McLeod (2001) studies. Why Magazines and How They Were Selected This study focuses on women’s and teen magazine s because they are at the forefront of the body image debate and are most likely to report frequently on dieting, nutrition and/or fitness compared to other media. A comparison of th e two genres also revealed some differences between women’s and teen magazines, which of fer further, less-explor ed insight into how women’s and teen magazines frame such topics A comparison between women’s magazines and teen magazines was thought important because it coul d reveal a pattern of fr ames that starts with teen magazines (and their readers) and gradua lly progresses to women’s magazines (and their readers). If similar frames are found in both, it st ands to reason that this frame would greatly affect how one perceives health and fitness coverage, since it has been told to the reader since adolescence. This study differed from ot her magazine body image studies by looking extensively at the editori al content and not only the graphics or advertisements. Looking at what the content of a story is saying in addition to what it is saying pictorially gives researchers and media professionals a better understa nding of the entire message that is being sent the readers.

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29 Five magazine titles from each genre were c hosen based on high national circulation rates. Preference was given to magazines that had a te en/woman counterpart magazine (for instance, Cosmopolitan and CosmoGirl! ). However, many such counterparts differed in subject matter and could not be used for the study. For instance, Teen People fell into the category of a general teen magazine (with subjects ranging from fashion to health). People magazine, on the other hand, dealt almost exclusively with celebrity gossi p and was a more niche magazine. A similar occurrence happened with Vogue a niche fashion magazine, and Teen Vogue a more general teen magazine. Taking circulation figures and top-ranked positions from within the teen genre into consideration, the te en titles studied are: Elle Girl, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Teen People and CosmoGirl The women’s titles are: Cosmopolitan, Redbook Self, Glamour and Allure Each magazine was selected for its high national circ ulation as recorded by the Audit Bureau of Circulation in 2005. Each selected magazine wa s on the top-100 list for all magazines in the United States during 2005, except for Elle Girl which lagged slightly be hind but still maintained a leading rank in the teen magazine genre in 2005. Circulations for the teen magazines were: Elle Girl (about 1.2 million), Seventeen (2,034,462), Teen Vogue (1,410,609), Teen People (1,525,409) and CosmoGirl! (1,383,468). Note: In 2006, Elle Girl and Teen People folded their print ed itions and published exclusively online. During 2005 and through th e beginning of 2006, they were both still among the top-selling teen magazines in print. For the women’s magazines: Cosmopolitan (2,969,952), Redbook (2,412,882), Self (1,410,476), Glamour (2,371,986) and Allure (1,060,099). A complete year (2005) of each title was ex amined. The year 2005 was determined as an appropriate year for study because of a number of important dietary and fitness studies published

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30 in 2004 and early 2005. Studies done during this time frame provide the 2005 issues (1) information that would be timely and (2) enough time to make up for any production lag time (most magazines finish issues months before pub lication). Also, most of these studies are not done yearly, and the statistics they report were the most recent availa ble at the time of this study. The first study, which is conducted every five years, was released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on January 12, 2005 (Dietary Guidelines, 2005). It reported on dietary guidelines that would “promote health and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases.” Th e recommendations focused on long-term health, which is a topic one would expect to find in the magazine articles. Second, a series of studies reported on by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health gave the statistics for 2004. The statis tics focused on the obesity rate of adults and adolescents (NHANES, 2004; Prevalence, 2004). Similarly, the Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health published a study titled "Overweight and Physi cal Activity Among Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation, 2005," which reported on the low level of physical activity and increase in numbers of overweight children. Su ch studies would seem especially topical for diet and fitness coverage. The implications of al l these studies, however, give further insight to the environment in which the articles were writt en. The studies point to an increase in obesity and a decrease in physical ac tivity, and how magazines fram e their stories could have contradicted or coincided with the national trends. How the Articles Were Chosen All magazine issues from the selected title s for 2005 were examined by perusing the table of contents and by flipping thr ough cover-to-cover. All editorial items—feature articles, briefs, letters and Q&As—that focused on diet, nutrition, fitness and exer cise were selected. Likewise, the adjacent ads—all-sized advertisements that appeared on the page before, after or in the

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31 middle of diet and fitness stories—also were in cluded in the study sample. For this study, it did most ads were one or more pages. Although it could be argued that smaller ads have less impact on readers than oneor two-page ads, separa ting the ads would not have made much of a difference. How the Articles Were Coded and Interpreted In order to determine the frames, a coding shee t was constructed to allow listings of the aspects mentioned before: keywords, phrases, so urces, length, prominence, etc. (Appendix A). Each article was first read in its entirety to determine the main topic, secondary topics and any encompassing themes. The story was then read a second time line-by-line in order to determine sentencing, wording, phrasing and s ourcing. Through a third scan of the story, the coder recorded the story’s length, location within the magazine and visual images onto the code sheet. After completion, the code sheets were read and anal yzed to determine repeated arguments, themes and occurrences. Frames were not predetermined. Instead, they were found as the content was read. This was to ensure that all possible frames were f ound and to eliminate uninten tional research bias by selecting only a limited range of frames. Colored pens were used to mark each frame and its corresponding themes on the article For instance, words and phrases such as “fast,” “in only 10 minutes” or “quick steps for the busy, career-d riven mom” denoted a quick, in-no-time frame. This frame was underlined in blue. Another frame, “sinister or scary,” was highlighted using a pink pen. At the end of coding all articles, the re searcher was able to go through all the photocopied articles and see how often each color wa s used. The most used colors also reflected the most used frames. The number of articles in which each frame appeared, the number of times in each article they were referenced and a fram e’s location in each article (was it used at the beginning, middle, end?) all were r ecorded. In order to prevent items from being highlighted in

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32 one color that later proved to reflect two sepa rate frames, the resear cher did not highlight immediately upon first reading the ar ticles. Instead, the researcher fi rst used pencil-written notes and then went back and highlighted. Advertisemen ts were coded in a similar way. Each article’s code sheet included questions related to th e surrounding ads: the le ngth, the product sold, a description of the photographs and a fram ing analysis of the textual content.

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33 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Chapter 4 outlines the results of the study. It reveals the statistics for diet and fitness content and graphics in teen and women’s magazi nes, the frames of this content and the products advertised adjacent to the content. Findings for Editorial Content One hundred seventy-nine articles were identif ied and coded across the 10 magazines. One hundred twenty-three articles were f ound in the five women’s magazines: Cosmopolitan (n=9), Redbook (n=21), Self (n=42), Glamour (n=23) and Allure (n=28). The other 56 articles were found in the teen magazines: Elle Girl (n=7), Teen Vogue (n=7), Seventeen (n=13), Cosmo Girl! (n=24) and Teen People (n=5). The lengths of the articles varied. The average women’s magazine article had a slightly higher page count than its teen counterpart The average diet and fitness article contained 2.25 pa ges of content for women’s ma gazines and 1.85 pages for teen magazines. (Tables 4-1 and 4-2). Most diet and fitness articles for both genres (n=53) were found in a health and nutrition section. This was true for about 23% (n=28) of all the coded women’s articles and about 45% (n=25) of the teen articles. A difference in the two genres emerged in the second most-used section. Compared to about 12% (n=14) of th e women’s magazine arti cles found in food or eating right sections, about 20% (n= 11)of the teen magazine articles appeared in a peer or reallife department. Both women’s and teen magazines shared fitness and body sections as the third most used. In women’s and teen magazines about 11% (women’s, n=13; teen, n=6) of its diet and fitness articles appeared in such sections Living sections made up the fourth most common section where 6.5% (n=8) of fitne ss and diet articles were found in women’s magazines. For teen magazines, beauty sections came in fourth with 3.3% (n=4) of the articles. (Tables 4-4 and 4-5).

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34 More women’s fitness and nutrition content (n=41 or 33%) headlined on its magazine’s front cover than on the teen covers (n=12 or 21%). Nine of the women’s cover stories—about 7%—were the dominant headline. This was determ ined by typeface size. However, four of the teen articles—also about 7%—were the dominant headlines on the cover as well. The two magazine genres differed little in th e type of authors used. Most articles were written by staff writers or freelance journalists (women’s n=54; teen n=34) followed by ordinaryperson accounts (women’s n=4; teen n=8). Thes e first-person stories are by non-famous people who most commonly share how they shed a cons iderable amount of weight or about their struggle with eating. The third most common aut hor type differed: experts advice such as registered dietitians or fitne ss professionals (n=2 or 2%) fo r women’s magazines, and firstperson celebrity stories (n=2 or 3.6%) fo r teen content. (Tables 4-4 and 4-5). The top five sources used in women’s magazi nes tended to be prof essionals. Dietitians were referenced in about 32% (n=39) of the arti cles, doctors in 28% (n=3 4), fitness experts in 25% (n=31), academic journals or research st udies in 18% (n=22) and product and business owners in 13% (n=16). Teen magazines, on the ot her hand, were most likely to source peers and non-famous ordinary people. Peers were attributed in 41% (n=23) of the di et and fitness articles. This was followed by dietitians in 39% (n=22) of the articles, celebrities in 18% (n=10), product and business owners in 13% (n=7), and beauty experts in 3.5 % (n=2). (Tables 4-4 and 4-5). The photographs accompanying each article also differed slightly from women’s to teen magazines. Most photographs in women’s magazine s consisted of pretty, thin fashion models (n=25), healthy food (n=24)—which for the pur pose of this study encompassed foods found on the food pyramid: vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meats, etc.—thin women eating food (n=8), and products and accessories, such as shoes, watches and brand-name fitness equipment (n=8). Sexy

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35 body parts, such as a close-up on a woman’s buttocks, also ranked as some of the most prevalent photographs with n=7. (Table 4-3). Teen magazines focused more on food. Junk and fast food, such as ice cream, hamburgers and French fries, were the most prevalent type of graphic (n=16). This was followed by celebrities (n=12) and pretty, skinny teen models (n=12), healthy food (n=9) and everyday, normal-looking peers (n=8). (Table 4-3). RQ 1: How Did Women’s Magazines Frame In formation Related to Diet and Exercise, through Both Content and Graphics, during 2005? The women’s magazines incl uded of 123 articles from Redbook (n=21), Cosmopolitan (n=9), Self (n=42), Glamour (n=23) and Allure (n=28). The average Redbook diet and fitness article was 2.19 pages, the average Self article was 3.33 pages, the average Cosmo article was 1.17 pages and the average Allure and Glamour article was about 2.28 pages. The main topics centered on (1) how-to information (n=37), which cons isted of step-by-step exercise routines and diet plans, (2) beauty-centered stories (n=21) th at promoted exercise and diet as a means to achieve a specific look, and (3) health news (n=2 0) that reported on re cent studies, polls and relatively current events. The rest of the main topics were less fre quent, including managing temptation (n=8), long-term health (n=6) and combating stress (n=4). (Table 4-4). Through an analysis of headlines, subheads, written content and graphics, four media frames can be attached to women’s magazine diet and fitness articles. They are (1) the fast-andeasy cheer, (2) the quest for beauty, (3) the docto r’s visit, and (4) the si nister or scary frame. The fast-and-easy cheer One of the most prevalent selling points in women’s diet and fitness headlines was expediency and ease. References to “easy,” “fas t” and related words a nd phrases like “quick,” “in no time,” etc. were found in 23% of headlin es (n=28), 10% of subheads (n=12) and in 77%

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36 of the text, pull quotes and othe r such written content (n=95). Promises of easy-to-do workouts and diets made up 44 percent of all content, while fastor instant-results stories accounted for a third of all content. The fast-and-easy cheer frame has a rah-rah t one. It encourages readers that they can achieve a desired body with little effort or loss of tasty foods as long as the prescribed exercise routine or diet regimen is applied. The fast-and -easy terminology is mixe d with cheerleader-like optimism. This is seen with st atements like “you’ll se e results before Memo rial Day,” “couldn’t be easier” and “losing weight is child’s play” (Yeager, March 2005, p. 30; Buchan December 2005, p. 226). The usual 20-minute workout section in Redbook was even “slashed . in half” to “10 minutes to a better body.” It states, “This quickie workout tones a ll of your trouble spots with just 3 easy moves” (Yeager, October 2005, p. 32). Some examples provide even more youcan-do-it spunk, such as an Allure article that states, “this is th e year you’ll get healthy,” and a Glamour article promising, you too can “lose up six pounds a month” (Levine, January 2005, p. 42; Lyons, May 2005, p. 105). Other instant-results framed stories include one from Glamour about a recent study done on diet injections that are supposed to reduce one ’s desire to overeat. It reads, “A drug in development shows promise for weight loss . th ey ate 25 to 35 percent less per meal and lost an average of five pounds” (Health: Body News, December 2005, p. 130). It is worth a note that most of the fast-and-easy framed stories came in the form of how-to articles, which provide step-by-st ep exercising methods or eating sc hedules. About a third of all the women’s diet and fitness articles contai ned a main or secondary topic with how-to information.

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37 The quest for beauty Fitness and diet articles often referenced lo sing weight, staying fit and eating right as a means to achieve beauty or to enhance how one looks. Primping and beauty terminology was often used throughout such stories. One Allure article included weight loss in its “Insider Guide Total Makeover,” which advocated readers to loss weight for a more beautiful body by “Thinking Thin” (Devash, February 1, 2005, 95). In describing one woman’s quest for thinness, it states, “Since beginning the makeover a month ago, Lichota rewards hers elf with a manicure or massage instead of candy.” The beauty frame appeared 37 times, in fact, in all content areas. Beauty was also the leading frame for headlines (n=23) and the top frame for subheads (n=12). Further, it was the main topic in 13% (n=16) of all stories. A Cosmo piece, for instance, discussed the importan ce of eating habits in relation to one’s breast size. It reads: “Breasts are made up of mostly fat, and any excess pounds practically go straight to your chests. Unfort unately, when you lose weight, boob flab is among the first to be shed . repeatedly gaining and losing pounds for ces the delicate skin on your set to expand and contract over and over again. The result: harmless (but unwanted) red or white streaks on your girls” (Nemec, June 2005, p. 254). Another Cosmo article claims “If you do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise three times a week for just two weeks and follow our detox diet . the temperature won’t be the only thing getting H-O-T-T-E-R” (Buchan, July 2005, p. 43). Again, the focus is on appearance rather than “the temperatur e is rising so you need more water.” Likewise, Self has a fitness department called “20 minutes to a better body” and had published a stories that remarked, “the best look-great-fast trick” or the way to “look instantly thinner” (Yeager, December 2005, p. 26; Schipani, May 2005, p. 38). Cosmo titled one of its articles “Look Hot in Shorts.” It gave three steps of content and demonstration photos outlining

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38 how to “transform your thighs” for summer attire (Buchan, June 2005, p. 254). A Glamour article was titled, “The great glamour body plan. (exercises for weight loss)” (Lyons, May 2005, p. 105). No matter whether it is to maintain yout hful skin or to get a slimmer body, the emphasis and wording of these articles exhorts reader s to exercise for looks and not for health. The doctor’s visit In contrast to the beauty frame is the use of diet and fitness articles to promote healthy living. This appears somewhat less frequently. Longterm health benefits and consequences are apparent in 21 articles. It is se ldom used, however, as a main topic. One exception was an article titled “10 (fun!) ways to reduce your blood pr essure” in the December 2005 edition of Self The article lists diet and exercise ch oices that promote a heart-healt hy lifestyle. The long-term health subject is more commonly added into a story, ho wever, as a secondary topic. For instance, “You are what you drink” is a June 2005 Redbook article about rampant sugar in non-alcoholic, everyday drinks. Although it is fi rst about calories, it also disc usses Type 2 diabetes and its ensuing heart and kidney damage. The doctor’s visit frame resulting from th e long-term health subject has a medical informational tone. It uses popular jargon and definitions to inform and is similar to how a doctor speaks to a patient. For example, one article to uted, “antioxidant-rich foods, which are believed to protect against some cancers and other diseases ,” and one article suggested “aerobic exercise of medium intensity three or five days” to lessen the symptoms of depression (Health: Food News, June 1, 2005, p. 126; Fitness News, June 1, 2005, p. 138). Even the food for boobs story in Cosmo —mentioned as an example in the beauty frame section—offers health informati on in its last paragraph. It re ads: “Studies suggest that overweight women increase their od ds of developing breast cancer fivefold. The reason: Fat cells

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39 produce estrogen—a known breast-cancer trigger. The more fat cells you have, the greater the amount of estrogen circulating in your bloodstream” (Nemec, June 2005, p. 254). Glamour described a diet plan “that can help in making smarter choices to lower risk of heart disease by nearly eighty percen t” (Laliberte, February 2005, p. 200). The sinister or scary frame The last major frame found in women’s magazi nes for diet and fitness coverage is the sinister or scary frame. This frame implies that danger or evil awaits a nyone who is overweight or who does not follow a prescribed fitness/diet ary regimen. Words and phrases included “risk,” “scary,” “drowning” and “devilish” (Birnbaum, June 2005, p. 122). The sinister or scary frame was found in 13% of the stories (n=16). Eight of those articles focused on satanic words, six on danger or beware terminology and two on fear. One example of the satanic-themed word usage is “The Top Diet Sins . and How to Fix Them” in Redbook (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56). Th e article details five common food blunders and how one can take steps to avoid them In this article, eating too much chocolate equated to committing a mortal immoral wrongdoing, while fo llowing its diet method was associated with salvation. This Redbook article about “top diet sins,” also includes health topics (although in the last two paragra phs) about multiple health-enhanci ng nutrients and benefits like fiber and antioxidants. These topics, however, di d not have the same medical-informational tone found in the doctor-visit frame. Instead, they were paired with danger and evil words like “blunder” and “sin” (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56). One article in Allure outlined a recent study about how married women were more jealous of other women with a certain female body type – with “a small waist-to-hip ratio and a high ratio of shoulders to hips ” (Health: Mood news, December 1, 2005, p. 133). Words were used included “threatened,” “potential rivals” and “intimidating.” A Glamour article is titled “The diet

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40 that can save your life,” which suggests that your life may be in danger and needs saving (Laliberte, February 2005, p. 200). Women’s graphics in review Content photos from the five women’s magazines tended to be of pretty, thin models (n=44 or 36%), healthy food (n=25 or 21%) and ever yday women (n=22 or 18%). Everyday women were non-famous, ordinary people with less-tha n-perfect bodies. Such photos accompanied stories such as “The top diet sins,” which included a photo of a middle-aged woman relaxing on a couch watching TV and eating a healthy mini -meal (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56). Thin models, however, were used more often in fitness articles, such as the how-to shape-up stories. Depictions of healthy food items, coded as a food that would appear on the food pyramid such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, outnumbered fast food and junk food (n=6) by six stories or about 5%. In sum: Women’s magazines focused on four fr ames: the fast-and-easy cheer, the quest for beauty, the doctor’s visit and the sinister or scary frame. The content’s graphics, on the other hand, showed thin models, healthy food and everyday women. (Table 4-3). RQ 2: How Did Female-Oriented Teen Magazines Frame Such Content? Teen magazines had 56 fitness and diet articles from Cosmo Girl! (n=24), Seventeen (n=13), Elle Girl (n=7), Teen Vogue (n=7) and Teen People (n=5). The average article length for all five magazines was 1.85 pages. The main topics centered on how-to information (n=18 or 32%), food recipes (n=7 or 13%) and beauty (n=6 or 11%). Three other main topics followed closely, including celebrity diets (n=5), sports (n=5) and weight loss (n=5). Ordinary people were the most often quoted (n=23 or 41%), fo llowed by dietitians and nutritionists (n=22 or 39%) and celebrities (n=10 or 18%). (Table 4-5).

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41 Through an analysis of headlines, subheads, written content and graphics, four media frames were found in teen diet and fitness articles. They are: 1. The quest for beauty, 2. Celebrity star-power, 3. The great you a nd 4. Eating-disorder frame ( overeating and under-eating). The quest for beauty frame Just as in women’s magazines, a dominant theme in teen diet and fitness articles is health for beauty’s sake. The focus on looks was found in 48% (n=27) of all coded teen articles with beauty being the main topic 11% (n=6) of the tim e. The headlines also used look-better wording the most (n=8 or 14%). An Elle Girl example comes from an articl e about a weight-loss boarding school. One of the students stated: “‘I’ve been called ugly for so long that I believe it. There’s this one girl who has dropped a lot of weight, and I think she is so pretty, but she doesn’t think so. There’s no such thing as a pretty fat girl ’” (Brashich, March 2005, p. 106). Although there are some body image implications in the quote, the fo cus is on students losing weight to achieve good looks. Many articles perpetuate this lofty goal. Exercise workout plans stress “toning” and “slimming down." One Seventeen article headline promised to he lp readers "get leaner with cardio" with its "waist-trimm ing workout" (get leaner, August 2005, p. 42). The cover headline for this article touted that users will “Get a tiny waist.” Another Cosmo Girl! workout plan explains that its routine is perfect for “pre-swimsuit activity ” (Goldstein, May 2005, p. 100). And while a Teen People article was prefaced with “Of course, it's what's inside that counts,” it was directly followed by “But if you ever feel th at what size jeans you wear or how big your boobs are is a huge deal, you're not alone” (How Do You Feel About Your Body? August 1, 2005, p. 186).

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42 The beauty frame doesn't relate only to body size, however. Another Elle Girl article listed hair growth as a reason why one should stock up on his or her nutrients, and Teen Vogue recommended going organic (with food) to prevent breakouts. The celebrity star-power frame The celebrity star-power frame used phrases and words that referenced fame and the famous and equated it to weight loss, fitness or dieting. One article refere nces music star Fergie from the band Black Eyed Peas by stating “Ab fabulous! Want a stomach like Fergie's?” (Cosmo Girl, February 2005, p. 74). The article then gives ten moves it says will make the reader look like a rock star. Celebrity first-person accounts made up 4% (n=2 ) of all coverage, and celebrity references were found in another 38% (n=21) of the storie s. These young, famous stars were even found in 21% (n=12) of all photos. Many of these star-studded photos had little to do with the actual content of the story. For instance, two Teen Vogue articles about readi ng nutrition labels and staying away from fad diets showed five candi d shots each of celebrities shoveling down fast food. The headlines read: “Not all cel ebs are afraid of food” and “The se celebs can’t resist a trip through the drive-through” (Value Mean, April 2005, p. 179; Salad Daze, May 2005, p. 151). The celebrities in the photos also tend to be the extremely th in kind such as Mischa Barton, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton. A Cosmo Girl! article, in the same issu e, shows a series of stars and supermodels stuffing their faces with food. The headline reads, “Cram session: in Hollywood these days, it's less Atkins, more napkins!” (Cosmo Girl, February 2005, p. 183). One caption for a photo of Kelly Osbourne consum ing a bag of potato chips reads, “Osbournes sure have trouble keeping their mouths shut!” and another cap tion for a photo of supermodel Gisele sloppily eating a large ro ast beef sandwich reads, “Even supermodels like it supersized!” (Cosmo Girl, February 2005, p. 183). Another Cosmo Girl! article reads, “So what if you'll never

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43 be a movie star? You can still eat like one with these healthy recipe s!” (Celebrity bites, June/July 2005, p. 82). Elle Girl also features a list of food requests fo r rock band Fall Out Boy’s bus tour. Items include Doritos chips, Mountain Dew soda, Wonder Bread and Gushers fruit snacks. The subtitle reads: “After this, you’ll never understand how Fall Out Boy keep their gir lish figures” (Fall Out Food, November 2005, p. 107). The great you frame: Confidence and body image The great-you frame focuses on inner beauty and accepting oneself. It has a comforting tone, letting the reader know she is not alone and that she too can gain confidence. A Cosmo Girl! article, titled “Hey, Beautiful! That’s YOU we ’re talking to,” stated that “And we know you like hearing it, because who doesn't? The problem is, we've all become obsessed with looking good … all of your CG! si sters are marching alongside . You feel confident, you feel strong” (Hey, Beautiful! April 2005, p. 105). Confidence and body image references were found most often in the wr itten content (n=21 or 38%) and were often part of a personal accoun t of being overweight. The subjects dealt with feeling poorly about oneself, gaining confidence or learning how to accept and love one’s inner self. Seventeen for instance, published a first-person story of a girl who lost 116 pounds. Throughout the article, the girl reco unted being teased and how she felt like she “was too fat to ever make friends” (real life, April 2005, p. 123) At the end of the article, she stated: “Maintaining my weight is stil l a struggle—after school I’m tired and don’t want to exercise. But then I remember that being healthy—and fee ling happy about who I am—m akes it all worth it” (Real Life, April 2005, p. 124). Another article in Teen Vogue gave celebrity Kelly Osbourne ’s first-person perspective on being “fat” in Hollywood. She stated: “I was de finitely different. And in Hollywood—much like

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44 in the average American high school—being diffe rent is not a good thing,” and “when you feel ugly and everyone’s telling you th at you are ugly, well, you tend to believe it” (L.A. Story, June/July 2005, p. 141). At the end, she responds to such teasing with the inner strength and confidence she’s earned. She stated, “But I’ve learned to get on with my life” (L.A. Story, June/July 2005, p. 142). A Cosmo Girl! back-to-school workout plan focused on exercise for the sake of being cool, calm and feeling confident for the new school year It stated that exer cise “makes you feel good by increasing your energy level, reducing tension, and even ma king you happier in general . improve your mood” (Cosmo Girl, September 2005, p. 112). Teen People also contained the confidence frame. One article quoted a reader as saying, “My friends are tiny compared to me, and listeni ng to them complain about having to lose weight makes me feel even fatter” (Insecurit y, October 1, 2005, p. 64). A nother article described the struggles of a high-school student who wei ghed 280 pounds. It stated, “I was extremely selfconscious. I wouldn't talk in class because my classmates could be mean. One time these guys compared me to an elephant and started chanti ng, ‘Obese! Obese!’ That killed me” (Herr, Roan, April 2005, p. 61). After losing 105 pounds, she exclai ms, “I have so much more confidence now.” Eating-disorder frame Closely linked to the body-image topic, eati ng disorders—used in this case to mean extreme, uncontrollable overeating and severe un der-eating like starvi ng oneself or purging— was referenced 15 times or in about 27% of the stories. This topic was often accompanied with a struggle tone. All five magazines use words like “binge” and “disorder” frequently. One article found in Elle Girl for example, quoted a girl who attend ed a boarding school for obese teens. She stated: “‘I would tell myself, I don’t have a problem . I’m not one of those girls you see on

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45 TV who has an eating disorder. Maybe I like food, th at’s all.’ But Jessica sa ys that at AOS (the school), she’s realized that li king food too much can be an ea ting disorder” (Brashich, March 2005, p. 104). An article in Teen Vogue looked at obese teens who attend ed weight-loss camps. Many of their sources confessed to tryi ng everything beforehand to lose weight, including “just not eating at all.” A CosmoGirl! article about getting fit said, “More pe ople these days are suffering from eating disorders and obesity than ever before. It 's time we put a stop to this epidemic!” (Hey, Beautiful, April 2005, p. 105). Graphics for teen magazines Photos from the five magazines tended to be of junk or fast food (n=16 or 29%), pretty, thin models (n=12 or 21%) and celebrities (n=12 or 21%). Often the junk food was shown alongside a calorie-counting story and was described as food to avoid. Healthy food was 18% less likely than junk food to be shown in such stories (n=9). In sum: Teen magazines focused on four fr ames: beauty, celebrities, body image and eating disorders. The graphics, on the other ha nd, displayed fattening foods, thin models and celebrities. RQ3: What Types of Advertisements Were Placed Adjacent to Such Content in Both the Teen and Women’s Magazines? Three hundred seventy-one advertisements appear ed directly before, after or in the middle of the fitness and diet coverage for all 10 mag azines. Two hundred ninety -five ads were found in the five women’s magazines: Cosmopolitan (n=16), Redbook (n=106), Self (n=90), Glamour (n=37) and Allure (n=46). The other 76 adve rtisements were found in the teen magazines: Elle Girl (n=5), Teen Vogue (n=5), Seventeen (n=18), Cosmo Girl! (n=39) and Teen People (n=9). The majority of ads for all magazines in both ge nres were one-page l ong – 59% (n=45) of the

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46 teen ads and 77% (n=227) of the women’s ads were on a single page. The average women’s magazine ad had a slightly higher ad page count than its teen counterpart s with more two-page and foldout advertisements (n=24) of women’s magazine ads with more than one page compared to n=4 for teen magazines). In teen magazines, 13% (n=10) of advertisements were half a page or less, while in women’s magazine ads 15% (n=44) were half a page or less. A fairly even mixture of placements—before and after diet and fitness coverage—was found in both teen and women’s magazines. About 34% (n=26) of the teen advertisements were placed before the content and 25% (n=19) were placed after it. Only about 11% (n=8) of the ads were placed in the middle, but this simply c ould be because much of the diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines consisted of eith er a single page or a two-page spread (two consecutive pages facing each other). Again, the av erage length of diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines was 1.85 pages. Women’s magazine s also had a fairly even mixture: before (n=84), middle (n=112) and after (n=84). The rest of the ads we re between two fitness stories. Teen and women’s advertisements differed s lightly in the products they sold. Women’s magazines contained far more food and drink ads (52% or n=152) than teen magazines (5.3% or n=4). The top five products sold next to diet a nd fitness coverage in teen magazines were (1) beauty products (26% or n=20), (2) Fashion, su ch as clothes and shoes (16% or n=12), (3) entertainment, such as television shows, movies CDs and DVDs (11% or n=8), (4) electronics and technology (6.6% or n=5) and (5) pads and tampons (5.3% or n=4) and drinks – two milk ads, a soda ad and a sugary fruit juice ad ( 5.3% or n=4). The top five products for women’s magazines were (1) food advertised as low-fat, healthy, light or organic (26% or n=76), (2) food not advertised as healthy (19% or n=56), (3) be auty products (14% or n= 40), (4) medicine (6.8% or n=20) and (5) drinks advertis ed as healthy (6.8% or n=20).

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47 Photos also differed somewhat between the tw o genres. Both teen and women’s magazine ads tended to feature people, but central photographs of the produc ts were found more prominently in women’s magazines. The top adve rtisement photographs used in teen magazines were of (1) celebrities (24% or n=18), (2) pretty, skinny fashion models (14% or n=11), (3) romantic embraces or implications between a girl and guy (9.2% or n=7), (4) skinny cartoon people (7.9% or n=6) and (5) ever yday-looking peers (5.2% or n=4) The top five photo types for women’s magazines were (1) food (46% or n=136), (2) fashion models (27% or n=80), and parenting or children (5.4% or n=16). Sexy men, normal-looki ng women and cleaning supplies were also frequently found (each n=12). Findings for Advertisements The top ad frames for teen magazines were (1 ) the sexy temptress, (2 ) being beautiful, (3) the fun life, and (4) romance. The most common frame in teen advertisements was that of the sexy temptress. Such ads were found next to 13% (n=10) of all diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines. They usually included sexy wording, suggestiv e body poses and clos e-ups of fit body part s. One example in CosmoGirl! pictured pop star Jessica Simpson with a large lollipop. The ad was for her line of beauty products. Its heading read, “Be luscious all over!” and later “G et head-to-toe yummy … in tantalizing fragrances . irresistibly ki ssable all over” (CosmoGirl Oct. 2005, p. 61). Another Seventeen ad, for Skechers Footwear, featured two photos of pop princess Christina Aguilera. One photo was of her as a scantly-clad cop dang ling hand cuffs, and the other was of Aguilera bent over a car, presumably getting arrested by her alter ego, with her rear end jutting out (Seventeen, July 2005, p. 87). The non-celebrity va riety of sexy temptress was also found. An ad in Teen Vogue for perfume displayed a smoky-eyed fashion model giving a come-hither look. The words read, “the luscious new feeling in fragrance . pleasures exotic” (Teen Vogue,

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48 October 2005, p. 51). Another ad from Teen Vogue, selling jeans, featured two young models with their rear ends facing the camera. One girl has her hand deep inside her jean pocket. The text reads, “Juicy girls shine on” (T een Vogue, June/July 2005, p. 74). Lastly, a Teen People ad selling shoes focuses on a pair of long, female le gs dangling from a man’s lap. His hand is placed high on her thigh. The brand name is the only text that appears, “red hot" (Teen People, October 2005, p. 33). The second most common frame in teen adve rtisements was beauty. This was found in 12% (n=9) of the ads. The beauty frame consis ted of wording and phrases that exuded the “you too can be beautiful” tone—as long as you use th e product, of course. These ads were often paired with beautiful, Cover Girl-type models. Examples included beauty products like facial cleansers, makeup and fashion. One St. Ives facial cleanser ad in Teen People shows a close-up of a beautiful face. It reads, “You scrub. You exfoliate. You fi ght blemishes. You glow” (Teen People, June/July 2005, p. 37). The words “you glow ” are accented with a different color font. A fun frame tied as the second most frequent frame, and was also in 12% (n=9) of the stories. Content and photos portray ed a full life and adve nture. One Sea Breeze facial cleanser ad stated, “Keep it clearer hours l onger. For days that never stop” (Cosmo Girl, May 2005, p. 53). Another, found in Teen Vogue, was for sunless tanner. Two girl s in party dresses are laughing and taking photos of each other. The text reads, “celebrate” (Teen Vogue, June/July 2005, p. 41). The fourth frame from the teen ads was ro mance, which consisted of a boy and girl model—always thin, fit and attractive—usuall y touching (an embrace, cuddling, holding hands) or exchanging a suggestive glan ce. Although these models also sometimes portrayed with a somewhat sexy look, they usually were more wholesome and dealt more with love and relationships. The ads using the sexy temptress frame mainly pictured only girl models.

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49 The romance frame was found in 11% (n=8) of th e ads next to diet and fitness coverage. One example, found in multiple magazines, is fo r Sea Breeze facial cleanser. The photo shows a teen girl and boy in close proximity on a sailboat. One presumes they are looking out toward the ocean, and both have large smiles (Cosmo Girl, May 2005, p. 53). Another ad, again for Skechers Footwear, is of American Idol pop star Carrie Underwood. She is surrounded by handsome, male shoe salesmen all offering her pairs of shoes. She gives a shocked, blushed expression with her hand just inches from he r mouth (Seventeen, Oct. 2005, p. 83). Lastly, a Snapple ad states prominently, “It’s spring . an d luv is in the air!” Tw o Snapple juice bottles are placed next to each other with a heart in the background. The content touts, “everyone wants a lotta luv!” (Elle Girl, March 2005, p. 165). The top ad frames for women’s magazines we re (1) taste, (2) f eeling good/having a good life, (3) beauty and (4) sex and/or romance. Taste was the most frequent frame – it was found in 33% (n=96) of women’s ads. This frame featured words like "scrumptious," "de licious" and "flavorful," and focused on how the product, usually a reduced-fat or health ier food, tasted. One ad for Tostitos in Redbook showed a female hand scooping salsa into a chip. The ad stat ed, “All the taste with 0 grams of trans fat. Your family won’t know the difference, but you will … still taste gr eat” (Redbook, February 2005, p. 166). Likewise, an Extra gum ad touts th at its product is “m outhwateringly cool … flavor and beyond,” and a Nicorette ad promises th at it is "the best tasting nicotine gum" (Redbook, November 2005, p. 181; Glamour, November 2005, p. 96). The good-life frame was found in 28% (n=84) of the ads one page before, after and in the middle of diet and fitness coverage. Such ads portr ayed a carefree, happy lifestyle. Terms such as "smile," "fun" and "adventure" were often used. One example comes from a series of Ritz

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50 cracker ads featured throughout the year in Redbook One shows three regular Ritz crackers with Kraft cheese spray spelling the word "fun" (Redbook, November 2005, p. 183). The text reads, "create smiles . let your imagination run wild." Another ad shows Ritz sticks dipped in a salsalike sauce with text reading, “the world of dipping is now a happier place," and another Ritz ad reads "real food. real fun" (Redbook, J une 2005, p. 201; Redbook, February 2005, p. 97). A Kashi cereal ad in Self also has a adventurous, happy tone. It s text reads, “feel good again. It’s one big, crunchy, honey-toasted, wonderful cycle. S ee how far it takes you” (Self, April 2005, p. 115). The ad also reads, “I can make th is fun” and uses words like “passion.” The beauty frame is similar to the beauty fr ame found in teen magazine ads. This frame was found in 30% (n=88) of the coded ads. It focuses on getting approva l for your outer looks, such as in a perfume ad with the word “reac tion” printed across a beautiful fashion model’s chest. The smaller text reads, “get reactio n” (Cosmo, May 2005, p.121). Another ad, for Reebok shoes, shows a beautiful, thin woman stretching be fore a run. The text reads, “I am running for my skinny jeans” (Self, April 2005, p. 127). Beauty products especially convey this frame. One Jane cosmetics ad, which pictures a beautiful fashion model, reads, “Not a plain jane.” A fourth frame is that of sex/romance. These ads usually focus on a male and female in provocative, suggestive poses and use terms such as “provocativ e” and “alluring.” Such frames were found in 20% (n=60) of women’s ads. For example, a Yasmin birth control ad shows a beautiful woman on top of a ma n in bed (Self, August 2005, p. 68-69). And a perfume ad shows actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a sexy black dress. The text reads, “men will melt” (Glamour, October 2005, p. 131).

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51 Table 4-1. List of articles and advertisements found in diet and f itness editorial content for teen magazines. Magazine title Number of articl es Number of advertisements CosmoGirl! 24 39 Elle Girl 07 05 Seventeen 13 18 Teen People 05 09 Teen Vogue 07 05 Total 56 76 Table 4-2. List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitne ss editorial content for women’s magazines. Magazine title Number of articl es Number of advertisements Allure 28 46 Cosmopolitan 09 16 Glamour 23 37 Redbook 21 106 Self 42 90 Total 123 295 Table 4-3. List of top four ed itorial frames, photographs and adve rtisement products in diet and fitness coverage for teen and women’s magazines Magazine genre Editorial frames Editorial photographs Advertisement products Teen A quest for beauty Celebrity star-power Great you: confidence/body image Eating disorder Junk/fast food Pretty/thin fashion models celebrities Beauty products Fashion: clothes, shoes, accessories Entertainment: Music, movies, TV Electronics/technology Female hygiene products Women’s Fast-and-easy cheer A quest for beauty Doctor’s visit, longterm health Sinister/scary Pretty/thin fashion models Healthy food Everyday looking women Food advertised as healthy Food NOT advertised as healthy Beauty products Medicine Drinks advertised as health

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52 Table 4-4. List of characterist ics found in diet and fitness co verage for women’s magazines. Magazine section, percentage of articles Sources, percentage of articles where sources are quoted Authors of story, number of articles Main topics, number of articles Health and Nutrition, 23 Dietitians, 32 Staff or freelance journalists, 54 How-to information, 37 Food or eating-right, 12 Doctors, 28 Ordinary person (first-person), 4 Beauty-centered stories, 21 Fitness and body, 11 Fitness experts, 25 Expert (dietitian, doctor, fitness expert), 2 Health news, 20 Living, 6.5 Academic journals or research studies, 18 Managing temptation, 8 Other, Product or business owners, 13 Long-term health, 6 No department, Combating stress, 4 Total, 100 Table 4-5. List of characteri stics found in diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines. Magazine section, percentage of articles Sources, percentage of articles where sources are quoted Authors of story, number of articles Main topics, percentage of articles Health and nutrition, 45 Peers and non-famous ordinary people, 41 Staff or freelance journalists, 34 How-to information, 32 Peer or real life, 20 Dietitians, 39 Ordinary person (first-person), 8 Food recipes, 13 Fitness and body, 11 Celebrities, 18 Celebrity (firstperson), 2 Beauty, 11 Beauty, 3.3 Product and business owners, 13 Celebrity diets, n=5 Other, Beauty experts, 3.5 Sports, n=5 No department, Weight loss, n=5 Total,

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53 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION Framing Differences in Teen and Women’s Magazines Chapter 5 discusses the implications of the findings, points out some weaknesses of the study and suggests future research on magazine diet and fitness coverage. This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics in the two genres for diet and fitness coverage. The differences: The women’s magazines focused on primarily fast-and-easy techniques, beaut y, long-term health and sinister scare tactics. The teen magazines, on the other hand, centere d more on beauty, celeb rities, confidence and body image, and eating disorders. Therefore, th e teen magazines dealt with outer appearances (fame, beauty) and inner struggl es (confidence, eating disorders) whereas the women’s versions contained more of a focus on motivation (speed /ease, scare tactics) and long-term health benefits. (Tables 5-1 and 5-2). The sources used are also an interesting poi nt of difference. Wome n’s magazines quoted more professional sources, with the top one be ing dietitians and nutritio nists (32% or n=39). Teen magazines, on the other hand, used more ordi nary people or peers (41% or n=23). Photo types also varied. Women’s magazines had a highe r percentage of healthy food (20% or n=25) than teen magazines, which tended to carry mo re junk or fast food phot os (29% or n=16). However, there are also some similarities be tween the two genres. All of the frames, for instance, are self-centered. They serve the interest of the reader and do not call for the reader to help others or society. For inst ance, the celebrity frame evokes th is by showing readers how to be more like the stars, and the doctor’s visit frame in forms the reader of how to better her health for a long, fulfilling life. Few stories were found discu ssing the obesity epidemic or societal factors, and only two stories mentioned helping other memb ers of one’s family. This contradicts with

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54 what the government research was saying about th e trends of dieting and fitness in the United States. These studies pointed to an epidemic a nd showed a massive, societ al increase in obese children, teens and adults and a decrease in physical activity (Dieta ry Guidelines, 2005; NHANES, 2004; Prevalence, 2004). Such studies, it would seem, w ould spur stories on national trends and the implications for long-term health in the country not self-centered stories framed around beauty, celebrities and ease. Staying fit and healthy for beauty’s sake, in fact, is the only constant theme between the two genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only sign ificant common factor in all editorial frames, advertisements and article photos for both teen and women’s magazines. (Tables 5-4 and 5-5). For the women’s magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in advertisements and editorial c ontent. For teen magazines, editorial content had a higher percentage of units with a beauty tone than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both. However, it is worth a note, that staying fit for be auty is not necessarily bad, since the reader is motivated, despite reasoning, to stay fit. U ndoubtedly, staying fit to look good has the same health benefits as staying fit for health reasons. One exception to the all-beauty dominance coul d be the inner-struggle theme in the teen magazines, which could be seen as a long-term e ffort to improve one’s health. This would make it more like the women’s magazine doctor’s vi sit frame. However, the women’s magazines focused on physical health benefits of diet and exercise (reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease, for instance). Body image and eating diso rders deal more with mental health and how one feels about oneself. What the Diet and Fitness Frames Tells us About Eating Disorders Eight million women and teens are affected with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive ov ereating (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). Pairing this

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55 with the fact that dieting is the single most important predicto r of such eating disorders, one would expect that editors and journalists worki ng on magazine dieting a nd fitness content would be extra cautious not to promote or even insinuat e routines or fad diets that could lead to body frustrations (Boschi et al., 2003). However, the frami ng data proves that this is not the case. First off, diet and fitness coverage in women’s magazi nes was framed as fast and easy. This tells the reader that an ideal body is obtainable in a short period of time with littl e effort. Such promises have little merit, and many of the dieting and fitness regimes in the women’s magazines required strict rules that are hard to maintain. This is not easy. Moreover, safe, permanent weight loss often spans over a long period of ti me. Contradictory to what the magazines are saying, it is not a fast process. Overall, the fast -and-easy frame found in the text falls short of its promises and this—according to the literatu re review—could cause the r eader body frustration. Although weight frustration doesn’t necessa rily equate to an eating disord er, the fast-and-easy frame does create a diet yo-yo effect describe d in the literature review. Reader s strictly follow the proscribed diet, but the restrictions are too hard to follow for a long period of time, so they give up. Clearly, the editorial content is hardly concer ned with disordered eating in women. Secondly, to make sure that the reader does not blame the diet a nd fitness routines—and the magazine itself—the sinister or scary frame is in place. The reader is basically made to feel guilty for her failure to achieve the ideal body. In e ssence, this frame creates the feeling of being a bad person for abandoning the proscribed diet and fitness plan—even th ough realistically this plan is much too strict. Like the fast-and-easy fr ame, the sinister or sc ary frame could lead to body frustration and even anger with oneself. Agai n, the escalating statisti cs on eating disorders seem not to be a concern when writing diet and fitness coverage in women’s magazines.

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56 Another point of note is the number of artic les actually addressi ng adult women eating disorders. Although teen magazine s tackled the issue quite freque ntly, eating disorder stories only appeared about twice in the women’s maga zines. This is despite a study in 2005 that showed an increase in adult treatment for anor exia in women older than 40 and a study that ranked weight gain as a major fear in adult wo men as they grow older (Adult Anorexia, June 2005; Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). It concludes, the n, that if women’s mag azines are not willing to cover eating disorders at the br oader level (stories about adult eating disorders), it is hard to fathom that they’d improve how they frame th e text at a more detailed or micro level. Teen magazines tended to be slightly more socially conscious when it came to eating disorder coverage. Numerous diet and fitness ar ticles brought the issue to the forefront and no advertisements were placed around such stories. Also, as discussed in th e literature review, none of the magazines had any actual di eting content. Instead, they opted for nutrition and fitness. The goal of eliminating dieting coverage in these ma gazines, as discussed previously, was due to research that linked thin models dieting content and increased eating disorders. However, the magazines only cut dieting content without looking at the broader picture. This study found that thin models still made up a considerable portion of the graphics, and nutri tion and fitness articles still insinuated the ideal image with a focus on beauty. The beauty frame veers from being socially c onscious of girls and eat ing disorders, since it creates a fixation with appearance and not health. It tells the reader that she should look a certain way by proscribing to a particular fitness workout for the sake of being beautiful. The beauty frame encompassed every aspect of the nutriti on and fitness coverage —in the text, in the graphics and in the advertisements—making it an almost obsessive message. With about 75% of adolescent girls saying they feel fat, the magazine s do little to curb the infiltration of the ideal

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57 image in the diet and fitness coverage (Bishop, 20 01). The magazines may not be saying to lose weight with dieting, but they ar e implying it with thin models, a focus on beauty and a disregard of long-term health. Implications from the Research Questions RQ1: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Women’s Magazines The high frequency of diet and fitness coverage in women’s magazines is evident with the amount of articles (n=123). Of those articles, the most common frames were the fast-and-easy cheer, the quest for beauty, the doctor visit and the sinister or scary frame. Three aspects can be concluded from the results. First, as discussed in relation to eating disorders, diet and fitness coverage in women’s magazines is telling the readers that a thin, ideal bo dy is obtainable through fast-and-easy means. However, if the reader finds the process hard or slow—which will almost always be the case because the articles promot e strict, hard-to-maintain methods—the reader must be lazy. This feeling of guilt stems from the sinister or scary frame, which implies negative stereotypes and evil to being unfit. Therefore, as found in previous literature, the reader is caught in a bind where, on the one hand, she is receiving cheerleader-like motivation to lose weight but, on the other hand, she is scolded and made to f eel immoral for failing to maintain the strict routines. Secondly, another frame tells the readers that the ultimate goal is beauty. The text implies that the ideal body should be sought after to esse ntially look like the models, and once achieved, the reader will no longer be immoral (as being told through the sinister or scary frame). Good is then equated with beauty. Third, the doctor’s visit frame is a redeemi ng aspect of diet and fitness coverage in women’s magazines. The frame ha s a tone that is purely inform ative, describing jargon and listing medical rationale as a reason to follow a pros cribed diet or fitness method. It is similar to

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58 how a doctor would speak to his or her patient. However, beauty and the fast-and-easy cheer frames were more frequent than this long-term health focus. Although valuable information is getting to the reader in an informative tone, this information could be offset by the influx of the ideal-body message. If one’s main concern is with how one looks, health would only be a secondary concern—if a priority at all. So what does all this mean? The literature review found the prolif eration of the ideal, impossible-to-mimic body in graphics, advertisements and in the general cont ent of stories. This study narrows the focus to diet and fitness te xt—where the ideal, impossible-to-mimic body was also found. The text alluded to such an image through its most common frames: beauty, fast-andeasy and sinister or scary. This is possibly one reason why dieting content—according to the literature review—causes eating di sorders. The ideal image is i ngrained into the reader from every aspect of the magazine, even the actual frami ng of the diet and fitness text. Paired with the fact that the text provides false information (i n regard to being fast and easy) and hard-tomaintain routines, it is easy to see that body frustration and possibly eating disorders would result. RQ2: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Teen Magazines. The results of the diet and fitne ss coverage in teen magazines also have an element of the ideal, impossible-to-mimic body. Similar results to th e women’s magazine were found with a beauty frame. Again, the ultimate goal is appearance an d not health. In fact, teen magazines had far fewer long-term health references, which may expand the power of the beauty rationale. This focus on superficial looks can be broadened to the next most common frame: celebrity starpower. A great deal of focus was put on su ccess through fame—achievable only by a certain look. From a marketing standpoint, celebrities pr obably sell more magazines. The focus here, however, is not on placing Jessica Simpson on the front cover, but on referencing fame and the

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59 famous and equating them to weight loss, fitnes s or dieting. Articles stating “Want a stomach like Fergie’s (rock singer)?” are following the ex act pattern found in the women’s magazines: promising results that are probabl y unrealistic. These two frames could lead to body frustrations just like the women’s magazine s. Although teen magazines put up a better appearance of being more socially conscious in regard to body image (more stories addressing eating disorders, less ads around nutrition and fitness cont ent, no dieting content, etc.), they still have to fix the way they frame the articles. If not, the teen magazine s will continue to portray the ideal image and risk the possibility of readers becoming frustr ated with their bodies and developing eating disorders. On a side note, the-great-you frame focusing on confidence and body image is a redeeming quality in the teen magazines, but like the doctor’s visit frame in women’s magazines, it may be overshadowed by the larger, overall ideal-body message. RQ3: Advertisements Adjacent to Diet and Fitness Articles The advertising aspect was placed in the study to see if there was a conflicting message being sent between fitness, diet text and the adjacent ads. For both teen and women’s magazines, the ideal image was reiterated. Beauty and being sexy for men (often through thinness) were framed in both magazine genres. For women’s magazines, food was a major them e. The top ad frame was taste and the top product being sold was food and drinks (52% of all women’s ads coded). The implications— when paired with the text that insinuates the reader should have an ideal body—is that the readers will be tempted and persuaded by the f ood advertisements. This could cause overeating, which furthers body frustration. The following two s ections provide further implications of the advertisements and how they relate to the text However, some of these food advertisements were for healthy food options, low-calorie orange ju ice, power bars and whol e-grain cereals. It is

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60 just as likely that food advertisem ents of this sort could actually lead to a healthier lifestyle through the promotion of healthier foods. The Big Picture: Women’s Magazines By looking at all three compone nts—editorial content, adve rtisements, graphics—three things can be concluded about women’s magazine c overage of dieting and fitness. First, the ideal is beauty and excessive thinness. Stereotypical thin models were the most frequent graphic in the articles, and a beauty frame wa s found in both the editorial co ntent and the content of the advertisements. Second, the look seen in the photo s is perceived to be obtainable through fastand-easy means (editorial content) and healt hy food products (graphics and advertisements). Third, having an undesirable weig ht or look leads to bad thin gs (the editorial content’s sinister/scary frame). Therefore, what this study concludes about women’s coverage of diet and fitness coverage is consistent wi th what the literature review showed. The magazines portray an unrealistic image that is supposedly fast-and-easy to obtain, but then magazine advertisers tempt readers with fatty foods (the magazines’ second most advertised product). The reader is exposed to an ideal image, promised that such a body can be attained and subjected to an influx of food ads. The Big Picture: Teen Magazines The overall focus of diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines does not seem to be too far from its adult counterpart. The overall message is of making oneself look better through superficial means. The top two products sold through the ads are beauty products and fashion, while beauty and celebrities frames are also fr equent in the editorial content. (However, one might argue, that these are the things teens are interested in and not things that are pushed on teens through magazines). As for the main graphics they include pretty, excessively thin models and celebrities. What does all this say? Looking like the models or celebrities is an obvious goal

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61 for the reader. This creates the impossible-to-m imic ideal image discussed in the literature review. However, unlike women’s magazines, food advertisements play almost no role. A few sugary drink ads and a couple of gum ads were about all of the food products that were found next to diet and fitness coverage. One inte resting aspect, though, was the amount of food pictured in the editorial graphi cs. The number one graphic in teen diet and fitness coverage was junk and fast food. This was an es pecially intriguing point in editorial photos showing celebrities and fashion models—who had the ideal image—st uffing their mouths with fatty foods. This creates the same lose-weight-to-look-good but eat-fatty-foods dilemma found in women’s magazines. Theory Framing Theory The main theory used in this study was framing, wh ich is defined as “a number of thematically related attributes related to a topic or news event that affects the pictures in our heads relating to that topic or event” (Zoc h, 2001, p. 196). In other words, how we perceive an issue or event is shaped by the wording, phrasing, metaphors, exempl ars, etc. that the re aders are exposed to through the context. Although people learn about diet and fitness from a broad array of sources, magazines are the top source for dietary supplement and nutriti on information (Kava et. al, 2002). So in the case of this study, how we picture diet and fitn ess in our heads is greatly shaped by how the content is written in the women’s and teen mag azines. Therefore, teen and women’s magazine readers perceive diet and fitness to be (1) al l about beauty and obtaining the ideal image, (2) critical of people who do not match the ideal lo ok, and (3) somewhat concerned with long-term health or inner strength/confidence.

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62 Since this follows much of the previous resear ch recorded in the lite rature review (which were done through other methodologies and used other theories), it is safe to say that this study upholds framing theory. Social-Comparison Theory Social comparison theory was used for the gr aphical components of the study. This theory dictates that individuals compare themselves to the images they see (either as similar or dissimilar to themselves) in the media. Usually with magazine images—which often consist of thin, ideal model bodies—this means an upward co mparison of physical appearances leaving the individual doing the comparing feeling inferior. For instance, in this study, teen magazines frequently used photographs of beautiful, thin celebrities. Because t eens often use fashion magazines for “the purposes of self-evalu ation and self-improvement,” photographs of celebrities act as an important comparis on group (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p.15). This could lead the individual to feel that their bodies are not adequa te because they do not match the bodies of the celebrities. Ultimately, upward soci al comparison could lead to body dissatisfaction and even pathological weight control practices. Overall, women’s and teen magazines promote an upward comparison, frequently using photographs of thin models and celebrities. When pairing these aspects of the social comparison theory to the framing theory results (text promo ting an ideal body), the result is scary. The text paints a picture of a need for beauty, while th e photographs let readers compare themselves to the ideal. Certainly magazines cannot be c oncerned about their r eaders developing eating disorders. Conclusion Overall, the frames were different: teen mag azines offered more inne r and outer struggles and women’s magazines revealed more of the go-a nd-do-it focus. The advertisements revealed a

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63 message of self indulgence and l ooks—sexuality, fun, romance and beau ty in teen ads, and taste, feeling good, sex and beauty in women’s ads. The overall message for the two genres, however, was very much the same: You can obtain this ideal image, but you should indulge in food, too. This could lead to body frustrati ons and does little to remedy th e problem of eating disorders. Lastly, very few of the stories, graphics and a dvertisements addressed th e obesity epidemic or lack of physical activity. Additional Research and Sugge stions for Magazine Editors One problem with the study’s methodology was using women’s magazines that were not more alike. Cosmopolitan for instance, seemed to target a younger, college-aged market than Redbook, and Self had a more fitness feel to it than the fashion-centered Glamour This caused some disparity in the frames. Some titles contained more of one frame, while others had more of another. A better procedure—for women’s magazi nes—would have been not just to look at circulation but also the target age of the audience It would be more inte resting, perhaps, to look at magazines with readers about th e age of a teenage-girl’s mother. This topic would also be a grea t starting point for a meta-analy sis project, where data from several previous stud ies would be compiled to reach new conclusions. The information on editorial content, advertisements and graphics us ed in magazines is so expansive that it is difficult to research it all. Howe ver, by taking bits and parts of previous research, one may be able to get the complete picture of diet and fitness coverage in magazines that this study attempted to find. It may also be beneficial to look at men’s magazines and see how they frame diet and fitness. Recommendations for magazine editors incl ude: 1. Educate magazine reporters on the framing theory and on the diet and fitness fr ames found in this study, 2. Educate the writers about the impacts of dieting c ontent and eating disorders, 3. Re duce the number of photographs

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64 of excessively thin models in the editorial c ontent sections, and 4. Generate new topics and angles for covering diet and f itness that focus less on empty promises and more on practical solutions.

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65 Table 5-1. List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in teen magazines. Frame Frequency of articles frame was found (%) Frequency a similar frame was found in women’s magazines (%) The quest for beauty 48 30 Celebrity star power 38 22 The great you 38 05 Eating disorders 27 02 Table 5-2. List of top frames fo r diet and fitness editorial co verage in women’s magazines. Styles Frequency of articles frame was found (%) Frequency a similar frame was found in teen magazines (%) Fast-and-easy cheer 77 11 Quest for beauty 30 48 Doctor’s Visit 17 20 Sinister/Scary 13 16 Table 5-3. List of top advertisem ent frames for teen magazines. Dominate ad frame Frequency of ads frame was found (%) Frequency a similar frame was found in teen editorial content (%) Sexy temptress 13 0 Beauty 12 48 Fun 12 3.8 Romance 11 14 Table 5-4. List of top frames advertisement frames for women’s magazines. Ad frame Frequency of ads frame was found (%) Frequency a similar frame was found in editorial women’s content (%) Taste 33 0.8 Beauty 30 30 Feeling good/good life 28 6.5 Sex/romance 20 3.3

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66 APPENDIX COPY OF CODE SHEET AND DI RECTIONS USED FOR STUDY ITEM ID # ________________ 1. Magazine name: 2. Date ____/_____ Month/Year 3. Page number(s) 4. Section (if applicable) 5. Mentioned on the cover? 5a. Is it the largest headline on the cover? Y N 6. Approximate length of article (in inches) 7. Story type (circle one) Feature Brief Letter from reader Q&A Other 8. Types of graphics (cir cle all that apply and give brief description) Photograph(s)____________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________ Graph __________________________________________________________________ Illustration ______________________________________________________________ Pull Quote ______________________________________________________________ Other __________________________________________________________________ 9. Headline 10. Sub-head (if any) 11. Lead (main points) 12. Main topic

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67 13. Secondary topic 14. Sources 15. Products advertised next to article 16. Describe graphics of ad 17. Describe message of the ad’s text 18. Framing analysis coding on photocopied article Coding guidelines. The following is a list of guidelines used when coding each magazine article. The idea was to make sure all articles were coded using the same rules. Identifier: Magazine ID number – number to represent one ma gazine – number to represent article in magazine. Example: 1-01-01 1. Magazine name: Elle Girl, Teen People, CosmoGirl!, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Allure, Self 2. Date of publication 3. Page number(s): pages where article is found 4. Section (if applicable): department name 5. Mentioned on the cover: Is the article listed on the cover a. Is it the largest headline on the cover: Is it noticeabl y the dominate headline with the largest text/font. 6. Approximate length of articl e (in pages): Count the pages of the article including pages with graphics. For pages with a portion of ads an d a portion of text, estimate the portion of text (one-third, one-half). 7. Story type: circle the type of story. Feature articles are non-department stories that are one page or longer. Briefs are less than one page and are often in a magazine department. 8. Graphics: circle all that apply and briefly describe. 9. Headline: Write the main headline 10. Subhead: Write any sub-headline if applicable 11. Lead: write the main points of the first fe w graphs (or the opening of the story). 12. Main topic: This is the primary focus of the article. Whichever topic has the most paragraphs devoted to it, is probably the main topic. 13. Secondary topics: List any other topics that the article covers, but that aren’t the main topic. 14. Sources: list any people that ar e quoted or paraphrased in th e story. List the person with his or her title only once (even if th ey are used throughout the story). 15. Products advertised next to articles: list the products in the advertisements one page before, one page after and all th e ads in between an article. 16. Ad graphics: list each graphic found in an ad and briefly describe. 17. Ad text: describe briefly what th e ad is saying. List any frames.

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68 18. Framing analysis coding on photocopied article: Read the article in its entirety and then go back and reread th e article. During this second reading, code for the frame. The framing techniques should include the following: a. Mark words and phrases that are repeated or that have common themes. “Costs,” “increased taxes” and “feas ibly unsound” could be seen as words with a common theme. Make sure to cover all text, including the headline, subhead and any graphics. b. How are the sources used? Are they pres ented in a credible manner? Do some sources that present one side of the ar gument tend to be s een as deviant (or outside the norm)? Are any sources left out? c. What is the overall tone of the story? Does it report on a grand mission or does it focus more on the financial issues? Vi sual images, metaphors and symbols all may contribute to this. d. Are there any significant points left out? Are any downplayed?

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69 LIST OF REFERENCES 60 seconds with Susan Schultz, editor in chief, CosmoGirl. (2005, March 7). MediaWeek 10(15), 46. Andersen, A., & DiDomenico, L. (1992). Diet vs. shape content of popular male and female magazines: A does-response relationship to the incidence of eating disorders? International Journal of Eating Disorders 11(3), 283-287. Andsager, J., & Powers, A. (2001) Framing wo men's health with a sense-making approach: magazine coverage of breast cancer and implants. Health Communication 13(2), 163-185. Birnbaum, C. (June 2005). You are what you drink. Redbook, 122-129. Bishop, R. (2001, October-December). The pursuit of perfection: A narrativ e analysis of how women’s magazines cove r eating disorders. Howard Journal of Communications 4(12), 221-240. Boschi, V., Siervo, M., D’Orsi P ., Margiotta, N., Trapanese, E., & Basile, F. et al. (2003). Body composition, eating behavior, food-body concerns and eating disorders in adolescent girls. Nutrition & Metabolism 47, 284-293. Body-image evaluation and body-im age among adolescents. (2004). Adolescence 39(155). Brashich, A. (March 2005). Welcome to fat school. Elle Girl 104-106. Buchan, M. (December 2005). Double the results. Cosmopolitan, 226. Buchan, M. (June 2005). Look hot in shorts. Cosmopolitan 254. Buchan, M. (July 2005). Shape-up shortcut. Cosmopolitan 142-143. Celebrity bites: so what if you’ll ne ver be a movie star? (June-July 2005). CosmoGirl! 82. Cram session. (February 2005). CosmoGirl! 138. Devash, M. (February 2005). Allure 95. Diaz, A.P. (2000, March 13). Health and fitn ess trend blossoms into a way of life. Advertising Age 11(71), 14-16. Douglas, S. (1994). Where the girls are: Growing up female with the mass media New York, NY: Times Books. Fall Out Food. (November 2005). Elle Girl 107. Fine, J. (2002, January 21). The Buzz. Advertising Age 3(73), 35. Fitness news. (June 2005). Allure 138.

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70 Get leaner with cardio! (August 2005). Seventeen, 42. Goldstein, J. (February 2005). Ab fabulous! CosmoGirl! 74-75. Goldstein, J. (May 2005). Hoop, here it is! Get yo urself a hoop and loosen up – literally! This workout stretches your muscles, tones your co re, and puts you in a carefree summer mood now. CosmoGirl! 100-101. Goldstein, J. (September 2005). The ultimate back-to-school workout. CosmoGirl! 112-115. Goodman, J. R. (2002). Flabless is fabulous: how Latina and anglo women read and incorporate the excessively thin body ideal into everyday experience. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 79(3), 712-727. Granatstein, L. (1998, October 5). A picture of health. MediaWeek 37(8), 28. Health: body news. (December 2005). Allure 130. Health: food news. (June 2005). Allure 126. Health: mood news. (December 2005). Allure 133. Hertog, J., & McLeod, D. (2001). “A multiperspectiv al approach to framing anaylsis: a field guide,” in S. Reese, O. Gandy and A. Grand (Eds.), Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World p.139-161. New Jersey: Erlbaum. Hesse-Biber, S., Leavy, P., Quinn, C. E., & Zo ino, J. (June 2006). The mass marketing of disordered eating and eating disorders: th e social psychology of women, thinness and culture. Boston College Sociology Department. Hey, beautiful! (April 2005). CosmoGirl! 105. How do you feel about your body? (August 2005). Teen People 186. Insecurity: Real gi rls ask, real girls answer. (October 2005). Teen People 64. Kava, R., Meister K. A., Whelan E. M., Lukac hko A. M., & Mirabile C. (2002, January) Dietary supplement safety information in ma gazines popular among older readers. Journal of Health Communication 1(7), 13-23. Kilbourne, J. (1999). Deadly persuasion: Why women and girl s must fight the deadly power of advertising New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. Kotler, L. A. (December 2001). Longitudinal relationships between childhood, adolescent, and adult eating disorders. Journal of the American Acade my of Child and Adolescent Pschiatry 40(12), 1434-1441. Kuzemchak, S. (February 2005). The top diet sins … and how to fix them. Redbook 56.

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71 L.A. Story. (June/July 2005). Teen Vogue 141-143. Laliberte, R. (February 2005). The diet that can save your life. Glamour 200-203 Lawrence, R. G. (2004). Framing obesity: the ev olution of news discourse on a public health issue. Press/Politics 9(3), 56-75. Levine, H. (January 2005). This is the year you’l l get healthy. Glamour 42-43. Lyons, M. (May 2005). The great glamour body plan. (exercises for weight loss). Glamour 105107. Marano, H. E. (2004 December 10). Body image: before the obsession. Psychology Today Marsella, B. (2005, June 1). Adult anorexia on the rise. ABC News online. Retrieved June 13, 2006, from http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/H ealthyWoman/story?id=808891&page=1 McKay, S. & Bonner, F. (2000, July). Introduction. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 2(14), 117-119. McKay, S. & Bonner, F. (2000, July). Challenges determination and tr iumphs: inspirational discourse in women’s mag azine health stories. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 2(14), 133-145. McMorris, M. (2001, February). Cosm o’s postholiday pound-shedding plan. Cosmopolitan 2(230), 137-140. Micco, N. (2003, December). How to stop when you’re full. Self 148-152. Morris, L. (1999, August 2). Studies give ‘t humbs up’ to mags for ad awareness. Advertising Age, 32(70), 16-17. Nemec, C. (June 2005 ) Food-related changes. Cosmopolitan, 254. Orsini, P. (1998, March 2). Teen spirit. MediaWeek 9(8), 8. Parker, B.J. (2003, Fall). Food for health. Journal of Advertising 3(32), 47-55. Pagliassotti, D. L. (May 2003). The dieter as model citizen. Presented to the International Communication Association. San Diego. Real Life. (April 2005). Seventeen, 123-124. Sacharow, A. & Hadis, M. (1996, January 1). The cabbage diet: Art imitates Linda. MediaWeek 1(6), 23. Smith, S. D. & Granatstein, L. (2005, March 28). All well and good. MediaWeek 13(15), 34-36. Spake, A. (2006, January 16). Stop dieting! U.S. News & World Report 2, 140.

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72 Thomsen, S. R. (2002). Health and beauty ma gazine reading and body shape concerns among a group of college women. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 4(79), 988-1007. Thomsen, S. R., Weber, M. M., & Brown, L. B. (2002). The relationship between reading beauty and fashion magazines and the use of pa thogenic dieting met hods among adolescent females. Adolescence. 37, 145. Tuchman, G. (1978). Introduction: The symbolic a nnihilation of women by the mass media. In G. Tuchman, A. K. Daniels, & J. Benet (Eds.), Hearth and home: Images of women in the mass media (pp. 3738). New York: Oxford University Press. Weight loss the issue. (April 2005). Teen People 61. Wilson, N. L., & Blackhurst, A. E. (1999 Decemb er). Food advertising and eating disorders: marketing body dissatisfaction, the drive for thin ness, and dieting in women’s magazines. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development. 38(2), 111-123. Wojcik, J. (May 2005). Salad Daze. Teen Vogue,, 148-151. Wojcik, J. (April 2005). Value Meal. Teen Vogue 176-179. Yeager, S. (October 2005). 10 minutes to a better body. Redbook, 32. Yeager, S. (May 2005). 20 minutes to a better body. Redbook, 38. Yeager, S. (December 2005). 20 minutes to a better body. Redbook, 26. Zoch, L. (2001). “What’s really important here?: media self-coverage in the Susan Smith murder trial,” in S. Reese, O. Grandy and A. Grant (Eds.), Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World p.195-205. New Jersey: Erlbaum. Advertisements The following are the references for the advertisements used in the study. Banana Boat sunless tanner. (June/July 2005). Teen Vogue 41. Bloomingdales. (June/July 2005). Teen Vogue 74. Dessert Treats by Jessica Simpson. (October 2005). CosmoGirl!, 61. Elizabeth Arden. (October 2005). Glamour 131. Estee Lauder. (October 2005). Teen Vogue 51. Extra Sugarfree Gum. (November 2005). Redbook 181. Jane cosmetics. (June 2005). Glamour 93. Kashi. (April 2005). Self 114-115.

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73 Milk. (February 2005). Elle Girl 121. Nicorette. (November 2005). Glamour 96. Reaction perfume. (May 2005). Cosmopolitan 121. Red Hot footwear. (October 2005). Teen People 33. Reeboks. (April 2005). Self 127. Ritz bits. (February 2005). Redbook 97. Ritz crackers. (November 2005). Redbook 183. Ritz sticks. (June 2005). Redbook 201. Sea Breeze. (May 2005). CosmoGirl! 53. Skechers Footwear. (July 2005). Seventeen 87. Skechers Footwear. (October 2005). Seventeen 83. Snapple. (March 2005). Elle Girl 165. St. Ives. (June/July 2005). Teen People 37. Tostitos. (February 2005). Redbook 166. Yasmin. (August 2005). Self, 68-6.

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74 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sarah Wood graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in journalism at the University of Florida in May 2005. She gra duated with a Master of Arts in Mass Communications also at UF and in December 2006. Her work in journalism comprises of several internships including ones with Time Inc., The Gainesville Sun, Ocala St ar-Banner, The Daily Commercial and INsite magazine. She has also held leadership roles—president and vice president—with the university chapter of Societ y of Professional Journalists. She hopes to use these experiences to become a news reporter.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0017946/00001

Material Information

Title: Fast, Painless and Pound-Shedding: A Framing Analysis of Diet and Fitness Coverage in Teen and Women's Magazines and an Examination of the Surrounding Advertisements from 2005
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Wood, Sarah ( Dissertant )
Walsh-Childers, Kim ( Thesis advisor )
Treise, Debbie ( Reviewer )
Cleary, Johanna ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Mass Communication Thesis, M.A.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Mass Communication
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: It is an alluring promise: “Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel satisfied,” or, for another variant, try “Cosmo’s fast, painless, pound-shedding plan.” These days, it is hard not to notice all the diet and fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the content inside. But what exactly are they telling readers? This study analyzes the diet and fitness text and graphics found in ten magazine titles, five women’s magazines and five teen magazines, and the surrounding advertisement during 2005. It uses framing theory—which dictates how a reader may perceive information through the textual wording, phrasing and examples—and social comparison theory—which in this case is how one compares themselves to media images. This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics in the two genres (women’s and teen magazines) for diet and fitness coverage. The women’s magazines focused on primarily fast-and-easy techniques, beauty, long-term health and sinister scare tactics. The teen magazines, on the other hand, centered more on beauty, celebrities, confidence and body image, and eating disorders. Therefore, the teen magazines dealt with outer appearances (fame, beauty) and inner struggles (confidence, eating disorders), whereas the women’s versions contained more of a focus on motivation (speed/ease, scare tactics) and longterm health benefits. Staying fit and healthy for beauty’s sake was the only constant theme between the two genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only significant common factor in all editorial frames, advertisements and article photos for both teen and women’s magazines. For the women’s magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in advertisements and editorial content. For teen magazines, editorial content had a higher percentage of units with a beauty tone than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida 2006.
Bibliography: Include bibliographical references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 74 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0017946:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0017946/00001

Material Information

Title: Fast, Painless and Pound-Shedding: A Framing Analysis of Diet and Fitness Coverage in Teen and Women's Magazines and an Examination of the Surrounding Advertisements from 2005
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Wood, Sarah ( Dissertant )
Walsh-Childers, Kim ( Thesis advisor )
Treise, Debbie ( Reviewer )
Cleary, Johanna ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright Date: 2006

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Mass Communication Thesis, M.A.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Mass Communication
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: It is an alluring promise: “Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel satisfied,” or, for another variant, try “Cosmo’s fast, painless, pound-shedding plan.” These days, it is hard not to notice all the diet and fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the content inside. But what exactly are they telling readers? This study analyzes the diet and fitness text and graphics found in ten magazine titles, five women’s magazines and five teen magazines, and the surrounding advertisement during 2005. It uses framing theory—which dictates how a reader may perceive information through the textual wording, phrasing and examples—and social comparison theory—which in this case is how one compares themselves to media images. This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics in the two genres (women’s and teen magazines) for diet and fitness coverage. The women’s magazines focused on primarily fast-and-easy techniques, beauty, long-term health and sinister scare tactics. The teen magazines, on the other hand, centered more on beauty, celebrities, confidence and body image, and eating disorders. Therefore, the teen magazines dealt with outer appearances (fame, beauty) and inner struggles (confidence, eating disorders), whereas the women’s versions contained more of a focus on motivation (speed/ease, scare tactics) and longterm health benefits. Staying fit and healthy for beauty’s sake was the only constant theme between the two genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only significant common factor in all editorial frames, advertisements and article photos for both teen and women’s magazines. For the women’s magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in advertisements and editorial content. For teen magazines, editorial content had a higher percentage of units with a beauty tone than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida 2006.
Bibliography: Include bibliographical references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; contains 74 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0017946:00001


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FAST, PAINLESS AND POUND-SHEDDING: A FRAMING ANALYSIS OF DIET AND
FITNESS COVERAGE IN TEEN AND WOMEN'S MAGAZINES AND A LOOK AT
SURROUNDING ADVERTISEMENTS FROM 2005





















By
SARAH WOOD


















A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
2006

































Copyright 2006
by
Sarah Wood

































To all the people who have supported me throughout this journey: my fiance, Derrick Harmon,
father, Frank Layne Wood, mother, Joy Wood, sister, Emily Wood, and to my faculty advisor
Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank Dr. Kim Walsh-Childers for her guidance throughout this process. Her astute

editing skills and knowledge of the subject were invaluable. I would also like to acknowledge

Dr. Debbie Treise and Dr. Johanna Cleary. All three professors aided my efforts to crafting this

thesis and were excellent mentors throughout my master's program. I also thank my father,

Frank Layne Wood, for all the wisdom, encouragement and writing lessons he has given me

throughout the years, and I thank my mother, Joy, and sister, Emily. Their support meant a great

deal. Lastly, I thank my fiance, Derrick Harmon, who made me laugh when things got stressful.









TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A CK N O W LED G M EN T S ........................................................ ....................................... 4

L IST O F T A B L E S ...................................................................................................... . 7

ABSTRAC T ..........................................................................................

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ............... ................. ........... .............................. 10

2 L ITE R A TU R E R E V IE W ........................................................................ ... ...................... 14

R review of Literature ................. ...................... ...... .. ........................ .. ............... 14
Body Image: Teen and W omen Readers................................ ................................. 14
Content and Its A dvertising.......................................................................... 21
A advertising Effects on Readers ......................................................... .............. 22
R ev iew of T h eory .......................................................... ................. 2 3
Framing Theory ..................................... ................................ ........... 23
Social-C om prison Theory ...................................................... ............. ............... 25
Literature Review in Sum and Research Questions .................................... ............... 26

3 M E T H O D S ............................................................................... 2 8

W hy M magazines and How They W ere Selected ........................................ .....................28
H ow the A articles W ere C chosen ..................................................................... ................... 30
How the Articles W ere Coded and Interpreted ...................................... ........ ............... 31

4 R E SU L T S ...........................................................................................3 3

Findings for Editorial Content ............... .................... .................................. ... ............... 33
How Did Women's Magazines Frame Information Related to Diet and Exercise,
through Both Content and Graphics, during 2005? ............................................. 35
T h e fast-an d-easy ch eer......................................... .............................................3 5
The quest for beauty ....................................................... ................. 37
T he doctor's visit......................................................................................... .. .... 38
The sinister or scary fram e ..................................................................... 39
W om en's graphics in review ................. ........................ ................... 40
How Did Female-Oriented Teen Magazines Frame Such Content? ............................40
T he quest for beauty fram e............................................................ .....................4 1
The celebrity star-pow er fram e ............................................. ....................... 42
The great you frame: Confidence and body image ...............................................43
E atin g -disord er fram e .................................................................... ....................4 4
G graphics for teen m magazines ......................................................... .................. .... 45
What Types of Advertisements Were Placed Adjacent to Such Content in Both the
Teen and W om en's M magazines? ............................................................................ 45









F findings for A dvertisem ents.......................................................................... ...................47

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION .............................................................................53

Framing Differences in Teen and Women's Magazines ................................ ...............53
What the Diet and Fitness Frames Tells us About Eating Disorders ...................................54
Implications from the Research Questions.................. ................. .......................... ......... 57
RQ1: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Women's Magazines .............. .....................57
RQ2: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Teen Magazines............................ ........58
RQ3: Advertisements Adjacent to Diet and Fitness Articles............... .............. ....59
The Big Picture: W omen's M magazines ......... .................................... ........................ 60
The B ig Picture: Teen M agazines................................................. .............................. 60
T h eo ry ......... ...................... ................. .................................... 6 1
F ram ing T theory ......... ......... ................................................. 6 1
Social C om prison T theory ......... ................. ...................................... ........................62
Conclusion .......... ...... ........... ....... ............................ 62
Additional Research and Suggestions for Magazine Editors ...........................................63

APPENDIX: COPY OF CODE SHEET AND DIRECTIONS USED FOR STUDY .................66

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S .......................... ................. ............................................................69

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H .............................................................................. .....................74






























6









LIST OF TABLES


Table page
4-1 List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitness editorial content for teen
m a g a z in e s .......................................................................... .. 5 1

4-2 List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitness editorial content for
women's magazines .................... ....................................51

4-3 List of top four editorial frames, photographs and advertisement products in diet and
fitness coverage for teen and women's magazines ......................................................51

4-4 List of characteristics found in diet and fitness coverage for women's magazines..........52

4-5 List of characteristics found in diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines ..................52

5-1 List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in teen magazines...................65

5-2 List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in women's magazines.............65

5-3 List of top advertisement frames for teen magazines. ................ ........... ............... 65

5-4 List of top frames advertisement frames for women's magazines ................................65









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

FAST, PAINLESS AND POUND-SHEDDING: A FRAMING ANALYSIS OF DIET AND
FITNESS COVERAGE IN TEEN AND WOMEN'S MAGAZINES AND A LOOK AT
SURROUNDING ADVERTISEMENTS FROM 2005

By

Sarah Wood

December 2006

Chair: Kim Walsh-Childers
Major Department: Mass Communication

It is an alluring promise: "Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel

satisfied," or, for another variant, try "Cosmo's fast, painless, pound-shedding plan." These days,

it is hard not to notice all the diet and fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the

content inside. But what exactly are they telling readers? This study analyzes the diet and fitness

text and graphics found in ten magazine titles, five women's magazines and five teen magazines,

and the surrounding advertisement during 2005. It uses framing theory-which dictates how a

reader may perceive information through the textual wording, phrasing and examples-and

social comparison theory-which in this case is how one compares themselves to media images.

This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics

in the two genres (women's and teen magazines) for diet and fitness coverage. The women's

magazines focused on primarily fast-and-easy techniques, beauty, long-term health and sinister

scare tactics. The teen magazines, on the other hand, centered more on beauty, celebrities,

confidence and body image, and eating disorders. Therefore, the teen magazines dealt with outer

appearances (fame, beauty) and inner struggles (confidence, eating disorders), whereas the









women's versions contained more of a focus on motivation (speed/ease, scare tactics) and long-

term health benefits.

Staying fit and healthy for beauty's sake was the only constant theme between the two

genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only significant common factor in all editorial

frames, advertisements and article photos for both teen and women's magazines. For the

women's magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in advertisements and editorial

content. For teen magazines, editorial content had a higher percentage of units with a beauty tone

than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

It is an alluring promise: "Never overeat again: Tame hunger in 10 days and still feel

satisfied," or, for another variant, try "Cosmo's fast, painless, pound-shedding plan" (Micco,

2003, p. 148; & McMorris, 2001, p. 137). These days, it is hard not to notice all the diet and

fitness titles that scroll across magazine covers and fill the content inside. And why not? Forty-

seven percent of all Americans, after all, turn to magazines as their top source for dietary

supplement and nutrition information, according to a survey conducted in 2000 (Kava, 2002).

Even more, magazine health coverage may be on the rise, and teen magazines are following that

trend (Bonner, & McKay, 2000). In April 2005, for instance, CosmoGirl! added a monthly five-

page health section to its magazine, an increase from its one to two pages previously devoted to

the topic (60 sec, 2005). "We decided there is an obesity epidemic, and there are a lot of teens

with eating disorders like anorexia," CosmoGirl! Editor-in-Chief Susan Schultz said on the

decision to create a health section. "It's really scary" (60 sec, 2005). But given that rigid diet and

fitness regimes often are paired with a hefty dollar amount of food advertising in many

magazines, is the actual coverage also "scary?"

Only a narrow subset of magazine studies on diet and fitness are specifically about

editorial content. This content analysis and framing study, however, attempted to examine three

aspects of diet and fitness coverage in women's and teen magazines. It sought to answer the

following research questions: (1) How did women's magazines frame information related to diet

and exercise, through both content and graphics, during 2005? (2) How did female-oriented teen

magazines frame such content? (3) What types of advertisements were placed adjacent to such

content in both the teen and women's magazines?









Although much research has been done on the possible connection between magazine

exposure and body image, fewer studies center on diet and fitness editorial coverage, especially

studies that compare magazines aimed at younger females and their counterparts targeting adult

women. The majority of research on this topic focuses on graphics or advertisements. However,

to get a complete picture of the message being sent to the reader, one needs to look at what the

story is saying contextually as well as the pictorial message. By looking at all three aspects-

editorial content, graphics and advertisements-this study offers scholars, media professionals

and readers a better understanding of the entire message. Given that the editorial content, graphic

elements and nearby ads may send conflicting messages, examining only one element may give

an inaccurate view of the overall message being sent.

The answers to this study's research questions are important for three reasons. The first is

the extent of women's and teen's concerns about and disorders related to food, nutrition and

exercise. On any given day, 56% of American women are dieting, and 75% of them consider

themselves too fat (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). As for teens, 80% of girls go on a diet at least

once before the age of 18 (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999).

Eating disorder statistics are just as staggering, if not even more so. About eight million

women and teens are affected with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa

and compulsive overeating (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). Psychology Today reported that such

disorders afflict up to 40% of college students at some point during their college years, and 13%

of high school girls purge (Marano, December 10, 2004). But teens and young adults aren't

alone. A recent study shows an increase-from 5 to 10%-in women older than 40 receiving

treatment for anorexia (Adult Anorexia, June 2005). In fact, weight gain ranked second only to

memory loss as the most feared consequence of aging in a 1995 study of adult women (Wilson &









Blackhurst, 1999). Regardless of age, however, the effects of these eating disorders can be

lasting. Adolescents with bulimia nervosa have a 20-fold increased risk of continuing symptoms

throughout adulthood, and only 30 to 40% of anorexics ever fully recover (Kotler et al., 2001;

Hesse-Bilber et al., 2006). According to The Eating Disorders Coalition, anorexia has the highest

mortality rate-approximately 20%-of any mental illness (Hesse-Bilber et al., 2006). While

such numbers for bulimia are more difficult to obtain because many of its suffers go undetected,

its effects are also potentially deadly, including kidney failure and congestive heart failure

(Hesse-Bilber et al, 2006).

A second reason for this study's importance is that frequent dieting, in the vast majority of

cases, actually leads to increased weight in the long run. U.S. News and World Report reported

on a 2006 study of 149 obese women. Women who had "dieted before age 14 were twice as

likely to have dieted 20 times or more and had the highest BMIs" (Spake, January 16, 2006).

Only 79% of the study's participants were able to maintain significant weight loss from a diet

over a long period of time, and many actually gained weight from such "yo-yo" dieting (Spake,

January 16, 2006).

The third reason for the importance of this study is that dieting is the single most important

predictor of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia (Boschi et al., 2003). Boschi et al.

(2003) states that "dieting, a behavioral phenomenon which is becoming more and more

common among adolescents as a result of their persistent endeavors to modify their physical

appearance, is certainly involved in the pathogenesis of eating disorders" (p. 285). Likewise,

Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention, Inc., found that dieting, along with body

dissatisfaction and the drive for thinness, are the primary precursors to anorexia and bulimia

development (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999).









This study strives to identify similarities and differences in mass-marketed, high-

circulation teen and women's magazines in regard to diet and fitness editorial content and

advertising. In order to do this, the study uses framing theory. According to the theory, how

dieting and fitness stories are written-their use of catchphrases, metaphors, exemplars, etc.-

help to clarify how readers may perceive the information (Zoch, 2001; Hertog and McLeod,

2001). For instance, if an article constantly refers to simplicity and quickness, the reader may

infer that exercise done in the prescribed way is easy to do or that significant weight loss will

follow quickly if the reader uses the techniques the magazine describes. These frames, then, help

us predict what kinds of ideas readers of both teen and women's magazines are gaining related to

dieting and fitness.

Chapter 2 describes a review of previous literature on body image, the media's role in body

image disturbance and advertising influences. It also includes a discussion of framing and social

comparison theories. Chapter 3 describes the methods to be used in the study, including selection

of editorial content and advertising to be analyzed and data analysis procedures. Chapter 4

describes the frames found in both genres and discuses the types of advertisements placed next to

such articles. Lastly, Chapter 5 discusses the implications of the findings, the study's limitations

and potential ideas for additional research.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Chapter 2 provides a review of previous research linking exposure to body-focused media

content, particularly that of magazines, with girls' and women's development of poor body

image; unhealthy attitudes toward diet, nutrition and general eating habits; and disordered eating

patterns, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia and overeating. In addition, the chapter describes

the theoretical underpinnings of the study, including social comparison theory, which links

magazine consumption-specifically its use of ultra-thin models-with disordered eating and

unhealthy food- and nutrition-related attitudes. The chapter also discusses framing theory, which

focuses on how editorial content is written and presented, and how this can influence readers'

understanding of fitness and dieting.

Review of Literature

Body Image: Teen and Women Readers

Media and advertising effects on body image have been widely studied, with researchers

examining everything from the frequency of magazines' use of thin, airbrushed models to the

repetitive focus on certain health topics and frames. This is especially true for magazines and diet

content. Ronald Bishop (2001) writes

Articles about diets and dieting appear in nearly every issue of most women's magazines.
Those who buy women's magazines often read more than one article per issue about the
latest diet regimens. Medical professionals and communication scholars argue that this
focus by media companies on the benefits of dieting has caused an increase in the number
of people who suffer from eating disorders. (p. 221)

An historic example of this-described in a study by Harrison and Cantor (1997) -

occurred from 1950 to 1984, when advertisements significantly increased their usage of thin

models in popular magazines. During the same time, body measurements and weights of Playboy

centerfolds and Miss America contestants also began to shrink. Popular women's magazines









followed suit, increasing their dieting coverage from a yearly average of 17.1 articles in the

1960s to 29.6 articles in the 1970s. The normal weight of U.S. women younger than 30,

however, rose by five to six pounds (Harrison & Cantor, 1997). By 1979 to 1988, 69% of

Playboy centerfolds and 60% of pageant contestants weighed at least 15% below their expected,

healthy body weight (Harrison & Cantor, 1997). The authors writes

This is noteworthy because being at least 15% below one's expected body weight is
considered symptomatic of anorexia nervosa (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). At
the same time, the number of dieting and exercise articles in popular women's magazines
increased year by year during the period of study, whereas the normal weight range of
American women and the reported prevalence of eating disorders in the United States both
continued to rise. (p. 42)

Andersen and DiDomenico (1990) also found evidence for the link between dieting

content and eating disorders in their study, which compared 10 male and 10 female magazines.

The authors found that the female magazines contained 10.5 times more weight-loss articles and

ads than the men's magazines. This figure, they noted, mirrored the ratio of female to male cases

of eating disorders (Andersen & DiDomenico, 1990). In other words, women were also about 10

times more likely to have an eating disorder. The authors state that such a difference could

suggest anything from the magazines' mere reflection of society to the perpetuation or even

creation of an overvaluation of extreme thinness. Either way, the magazines "impose gender-

related norms which then lead to sex-related differences in the frequencies of critical behaviors,"

including eating disorders (Andersen and DiDomenico, 1990, p. 286). It is worth a note,

however, that the magazines examined for this study were published in the 1980s before the

Men's Health phenomenon really came about, in which photographs of excessively muscular

males with no body fat caused similar body perceptions issues with its readers who strove to look

more like the depicted male ideal.









Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) found a similar relationship among dieting, eating disorders

and magazines consumption. They state that dieters are about eight times more likely than non-

dieters to develop bulimia nervosa. This is most likely to occur among women following strict,

more extreme diets, which fuel a cycle of bingeing and dieting. Body-image frustration often

results from dieting, and magazine food advertisers, knowing that 56% of women are dieting,

play on such feelings. Examples the authors use are magazine food advertisements that

encourage "all-or-none" thinking by showing high-calorie and high-fat foods as forbidden. The

ads portray their low- or no-fat options as the exceptions to a world of bland-tasting diet foods

and as the solution to all the reader's weight problems. Two Kraft advertisements in Woman's

Day, for instance, stated that "finally women could 'have pizza whenever' they wanted" by using

Kraft's fat-free cheese or eat sandwiches "that actually have 'rich taste'" by using a fat-free

mayonnaise (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999, p. 117). Such ads, the authors suggest, "endorse the

widespread fear and loathing of fat," "reinforce the 'all-or-none' thinking" and give the mistaken

belief that a sought-after body can be achieved with the right products (Wilson & Blackhurst,

1999, p. 117). Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) conclude, "food advertisements not only promote

the thin ideal, but also explicitly endorse high-risk eating behaviors as a way of attaining the

ideal" (p. 117).

Because of such research linking the use of thin models, dieting content and increased

eating disorders, some teen magazines recently have opted to provide "no-diet zones," where

entire magazines, such as YM, are devoid of any dieting content (Fine, 2002). Seventeen

magazine follows a related policy. "We'll still have workout, nutrition, but we're approaching it

as not just helping [a reader] to act, but to understand why. And that's going to help change her

habits," CosmoGril! editor Schultz said of the publication's sister magazine (60 sec, 2005).









Still, Bishop (2001) points out that 70% of adolescent girls are dieting, and 75% say they

feel fat. Even if teen magazines do not advocate dieting, he argues, they may help create the

desire to match an impossible-to-mimic ideal woman.

Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) found just this in their study of female teen readership

of beauty and fashion magazines. At the time of the study, 6.5 million adolescents read the three

most popular teen magazines, Seventeen, Teen and YM. The scholars argue that the messages in

these magazines, which target the 12-14 age range, are often used in the "identity development

and gender socialization process" (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 348). An underlying

message the magazines get across: Happiness and success can be attained only with the right

physical appearance, "ultra-thinness being the preferred state of health and beauty" (Thomsen,

Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 348). Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) describe it as "an environment in

which women equate thinness with success, happiness, worthiness and control" (p. 114). The

result of portraying an unattainable look can be readers' acceptance of unrealistic standards of

beauty or even the development of unsafe, quick dieting methods, such as the excessive use of

diet pills. However, Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) did find that the effects of magazine

content were mediated by the reader's previous state of mind. In other words, readers with high

levels of weight anxiety before reading the magazines were more likely to engage in high-risk

eating behaviors than readers who were less preoccupied with their weight.

With a focus on ideal thin images, health information is often replaced by beauty content

in much of the diet and fitness coverage. This phenomenon does not occur only in teen

magazines. One scholar concluded that "women are urged to take control of their bodies not for

political or health reasons but to make them aesthetically pleasing" (Douglas, 1994, p. 266).

Other scholars agree. Thomsen (2002), for instance, found in his study that there was not a direct









link between magazine reading and body-shape distress. Instead, the strongest predictor of size

concern came from society's (and indirectly the medium's) portrayal of men's expectations for

female thinness (Thomsen, 2002). Tuchman (1978) phrases it as magazine content that sells

"successful and therefore pleasurable femininity" (p. 163). Magazines define women by the men

in their lives, and these men, as depicted in the magazines, expect an ideal shape (Tuchman,

1978; & Bishop, 2001).

Weight, in fact, is a key factor in perceived "positive appearance," according to one study

(Hesse-Biber et al., 2006). Hesse-Biber et al. (2006) write: "A woman's sense of self-esteem is

dependent upon her perceived attractiveness to the opposite sex, and body weight plays an

increasing importance in whether she is considered physically attractive" (p. 6). Likewise,

Andersen and DiDomenico (1990) found that females placed a greater emphasis on weight when

rating female attractiveness than did males rating female attractiveness.

Some scholars (Thomsen, 2002) mention the frame of hope in fitness articles as a possible

contributing factor in body perception. The premise is that through following the magazine's

diet, fitness and beauty advice, one could gain hope of attaining the sought-after look. Thomsen

(2002) hypothesizes in his literature review:

Women's magazines are designed to contribute to consumption-based culture by
encouraging readers to fantasize about the creation of an ideal or perfect self. By
presenting readers with beautiful, inspiring role models to envy and emulate, the
magazines may instill a sense of hope that personal ideals and goals can and will be
attained by following the prescribed course of action. (p. 988)

This model places a direct, positive link between hope and magazine reading frequency

and an indirect link between magazine reading frequency and body image concerns (Thomsen,

2002). However, when Thomsen set out to prove that such hypothesized "hope" existed in the

articles, he found that it did not "mediate relationships between reading, expected future weight









gain or loss" or "body shape and size concerns" (p. 995). He did speculate, though, that this

could be different when dealing with younger readers. He concludes

Age and .. development levels may have had an impact on the results of this study,
particularly in assessing the role of hope ... For younger subjects, particularly those who
are in early adolescence, self-concept is far less stable, and perhaps more likely to be
influenced by exposure. As a result, both self-evaluative and self-improvement
comparisons may have a greater impact, either negatively or positively, on one's level of
hope. (p. 1010)

However, he added, this speculation needs further study because his participants were not

adolescents.

This idea is also shown through a focus-group study of Latina and Anglo women about

ideal shapes portrayed in magazines and television programs (Goodman, 2002). Goodman

(2002) found that even though women doubted the realism of such ideal looks and even

criticized the strict methods they presumed models used to attain such shapes, they still sought to

emulate the ideal. Goodman (2002) states

They [the participants] were aware of and desired the economic and social rewards that
thinness produces. Further, they were aware of others' acceptance of the ideal and
understood that others often judge them by the ideal. Even when these women were critical
of the ideal, they felt pressure to strive for thinness, given the social and economic
consequences. (p. 722)

These ultra-thin, ideal women depicted in magazines often are framed as being "model

citizens" as well as being ideally thin (Pagliassotti, 2003; Hesse-Biber et al., 2006). Pagliassotti

(2003) and Hesse-Biber et al. (2006) state that successful dieters are seen as following practices

similar to those expected of exemplary citizens, such as possessing the Protestant work ethic,

striving for self-improvement, being health-focused and displaying self-control.



Following this idea, a non- or unsuccessful dieter denotes laziness, lack of control, self-

indulgence and moral failure. Hesse-Biber et al. write









It is the women's "Horatio Alger" story [that] if you work hard, you will be rewarded;
[it's] as if thinness is achievable to all women who strive for it ... Food choice and bodily
outcome become a statement of self and one's self-worth more so for women. (p. 10)

But this ideal appearance is often unattainable. Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) point out

that this is exactly what makes ultra-thinness an effective marketing tool. They state

Encouraging women to measure themselves against this standard allows advertisers to
exploit not only women's inevitable dissatisfaction with their own bodies but also their
resulting feelings of failure and inadequacy Food advertisements signal to women that
the failure is more than a lapse in willpower; it is a sign of weak character, even moral
inadequacy. (p. 113)

Another point of interest is the importance of the media's role in nutrition-related

knowledge and behavior. Signorielli and Staples (1997) found in a study of elementary school-

aged children that "there was a strong positive relationship between television viewing and

unhealthy perceptions of nutrition" (p. 289). The more TV a child watched-when other

variables were accounted for-the more likely he or she was to (1) select unhealthy foods when

allowed to choose foods he or she would rather eat, and (2) believe that the unhealthy foods were

actually healthier than the more nutritious options.

Another study by Harrison and Cantor (1997) found that, overall, magazines were even

better predictors than television when looking at eating-disorder and dieting behaviors among

college-aged males and females. For females, magazine readership was a significant predictor of

drive for thinness-more so than television (Harrison & Cantor, 1997, p. 61). Likewise for

males, magazine readership was a stronger predictor than TV in male endorsement of thinness

for themselves. The study did not find, however, an overall positive relationship between

readership and male expectations of female thinness, but this changed when magazine effects

were analyzed by genre (Harrison & Cantor, 1997). Male entertainment magazines, such as

Playboy and Penthouse, were most likely to cause such expectations.









These two studies-the Harrison and Cantor study and the Signorielli and Staples study-

deal with different age groups and different health factors. However, one key component binds

them together. They both reveal the impact of the media, magazines in particular, on health

attitudes and behaviors.

Two other studies by Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) and Hesse-Biber et al. (2006) state that

mass media messages, magazines included, may be one of the strongest transmitters of the

excessively thin ideal. Wilson and Blackhurst (1999) suggest that such influences "normalize

body dissatisfaction and weight preoccupation, glorify thinness, perpetuate unrealistic and

unattainable standards of beauty, and encourage a rigid diet mentality" (p. 116). Hesse-Biber et

al. agree, but these scholars place more of the blame on capitalist industries that fund such mass

media portrayals-advertisers included.

Content and Its Advertising

Another dilemma arises when advertising is thrown into the body-image mix. Some

scholars (Douglas, 1994; Bishop, 2001; Kilbourne, 1999) argue that articles urge women to diet,

but food advertisements and recipes in the magazines pull the reader toward consumption of their

often rich and unhealthy products. "Thus, women are caught in a classic Marxist double bind: for

every dollar spent on the treatment of obesity, food manufacturers spend $100 to convince them

to buy their products" (Douglas, 1994, p. 35). The result: "companies fatten us up and the $30

billion a year diet industry tries to slim us down" (Bishop, 2001, p. 221). In short, women strive

for an unattainable image portrayed in magazines, and therefore, are more likely too seek out diet

products and articles (Kilbourne, 1999). However, the food marketers who advertise in women's

magazines tempt readers with fatty and/or sugar-laden products. In sum, Kilbourne states, "the

junk food industry and the diet industry depend on each other" (p. 122).









Food and beverage advertising recently has surpassed the once dominant automotive

industry as "the single largest category for publishers," ("Food & Beverage," 2005). An article in

MediaWeek reported that "through August [2005], ad pages in the (food) category were up a

healthy 12% over last year, the best showing besides Financial/Insurance/Real Estate among the

major print categories, per Publishers Information Bureau" ("Food & Beverage," 2005, p. 6).

The major ad-page contributors included Philip Morris' Altria (the parent company of Kraft and

Nabisco), PepsiCo and Unilever (which make Lipton Tea and Slim-Fast). Unilever, in fact,

increased its print coverage by 75% between 2003 and 2005 ("Food & Beverage," 2005). Irene

Grieco, the company's print media manager, cited increased sales from the advertisements as the

main reason. ("Food & Beverage," 2005)

So which magazines are receiving the increased ad revenue from food and beverage

industries? Of the $2.16 billion food and beverage ad sales for 2004, the highest magazine

category was women's service magazines, which took in about $522 million of such sales

("Food & Beverages," 2005). Better Homes and Garden, People, Good Housekeeping and

Women's Day were listed as the top four food-and-beverage ad carriers in 2004, with Ladies

Home Journal and Family Circle jumping to fifth and sixth in 2005. In fact, of the top-ten list in

2005, seven were women's magazines-O, the Oprah Magazine, came in at 10th ("Food &

Beverages," 2005).

Advertising Effects on Readers

But what impact does such advertising really have on readers? The advertising-effects

argument centers on a passive audience theory, and Bishop (2001) states that many women know

they are being manipulated by food advertising. Still, two advertising-effects studies done by

research companies Millward Brown and Nielsen Corp. found that "dollar-for-dollar, magazines

are a better buy for increasing consumer awareness" compared to TV (Morris, 1999). The









Millward Brown study found that 19% of magazine readers surveyed were aware of an ad

campaign; 16% were aware of the campaign when only viewed on TV (Morris, 1999). The

percentage jumps to 65, however, when the individual had seen both TV and magazine ads. The

argument is furthered by a case study of magazine ads for a mustard product. Morris (1999)

writes on the Millward Brown study

In the case of Nabisco's Grey Poupon mustard, the company spent more than $3 million in
magazine advertising during the 16-week period. Ads ran in eight issues of four measured
magazines. Brand penetration increased 22% in those households exposed to the ads.

It is worth a note, though, that some criticized the findings of the Millward Brown

research, stating that the brand-penetration numbers were too high and that the data may have

been misinterpreted (Morris, 1999).

Review of Theory

Framing Theory

The main theory used in this study is framing. For the purpose of this study, framing is

defined as "a number of thematically related attributes related to a topic or news event that

affects the pictures in our heads relating to that topic or event" (Zoch, 2001, p. 196). It goes

beyond what to think about-as explained by the agenda-setting theory-and focuses on how

one thinks about an issue or event (Zoch, 2001). Hertog and McLeod (2001) take the definition a

step further, claiming that frames are "organizing principles .. that work symbolically to

meaningfully structure the social world" (p. 140). Therefore, for example, the public's interest in

back-and-forth elections may be a result of "horse-race" frames used by the media (Hertog &

McLeod, 2001). On the other hand, the authors also suggest that it could be the reverse. Frames

may reflect social realities already in place (Hertog & McLeod, 2001).

From another angle, Dahinden (2005) defines frames as general patterns of interpretation

that usually consist of four parts: problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and









treatment recommendation (p. 2). Frames, according to Dahinden, "structure information" in

order to "reduce complexity" (Dahinden, 2005, p. 2).

One example of framing is an analysis by Zoch (2001), who examined media framing of

the Susan Smith case. The case-which dealt with a woman who was being tried for murdering

her two children-erupted with a media-circus atmosphere and the media soon started covering

itself. The author looked at five recurring devices in the media to determine any frames:

metaphors, visual images, catchphrases, depictions and exemplars (Zoch, 2001, p. 199). From

these, she found a frame of "media are part of the story," which had six additional sub-themes

that supported the frame. By looking at these devices, therefore, Zoch was able to figure out how

people were informed about the Susan Smith case, which in this case, was that the media were

also a part of the story.

The framing method is the most appropriate for this study because of its focus on enabling

the researcher to decipher how these magazines portrayed diet and fitness and how readers of

this information, in turn, may think or act. This is shown through a media framing analysis of

breast cancer and implants (Andsager & Powers, 2001). The authors contend "it is important to

understand the ways in which journalistic framing of issues occurs, because framing influences

public understanding and, consequently, policy formation" (Andsager & Powers, 2001, p. 164).

The authors cite an increase in breast cancer public awareness fueled by the media's attention

(and its urgent-toned frame) in the 1990s. The attention nudged Congress into enacting a bill that

allocated Medicare coverage for biannual mammograms to women older than 65 (Andsager &

Powers, 2001). Although an attached four-state statute giving free screening to poor women in

the bill was eventually revoked, the media coverage, the ensuing grassroots campaign and

President Bill Clinton's directives prompted the National Institute of Cancer to reallocate funds









to breast cancer research, which increased by more than 34%. The Food and Drug

Administration also banned silicon implants until their effects could be verified. The authors

write

Certain pieces of information are selected and put together within the genre constraints of a
news story. These choices, based on news values and journalists' interpretations of social
responsibility, have consequences. Readers form impressions of the news stories' central
theme-issue and attitudes toward the policy actors. For the most part, the media are the
public's only contact with technical fields Thus, the media create boundaries within
which debate can take place. (p. 166)

By applying similar framing techniques found in these examples, this study is intended to

determine how diet and fitness are framed in women's and teen magazines. The implications of

such findings, as shown by Andsager and Powers, are important because they could have an

impact on readers' perceptions and actions. If dieting articles are framed a certain way, they may

alter one's views on dieting and body image.

Social Comparison Theory

Another theory worth note is that of social comparison. Festinger (1954) first defined the

theory in three parts: 1. Individuals seek to improve themselves and to evaluate their abilities and

opinions, 2. Individuals compare themselves to others, and 3. Individuals prefer to compare

themselves to people with whom they are similar. Throughout the years, the theory has been

revised. Individuals, in accordance with the modified theory, could compare themselves to those

to whom they were dissimilar, and social comparison could occur in areas such as physical

appearance and eating habits (Martin & Kennedy, 1993; Wheeler & Miyake, 1992).

Comparison of physical appearances with those dissimilar to oneself are usually upward,

meaning the individual doing the comparing often feels inferior (Wheeler & Miyake, 1992). This

is commonly the case when individuals engage in social comparison with ideal images found in

magazines ("Body image evaluation," 2004). Females who consider celebrities-often portrayed









in magazines-as an important comparison group, for instance, were more likely to feel that their

bodies were not adequate and to participate in pathological weight control practices to change

this ("Body image evaluation, 2004). Likewise, Thomsen, Weber and Brown (2002) concluded

that adolescents use beauty and fashion magazines for "the purposes of self-evaluation and self-

improvement" (14). The authors state

[Teen readers] make comparisons between themselves and the models in magazine photos;
they come to accept these beauty ideals as realistically attainable goals. The more they
desire to attain these goals, and, in turn, the more they read beauty and fashion magazines,
the more they may be willing, or feel pressured, to try shortcuts or potentially harmful
measures to attain them. (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p. 15)

Literature Review in Sum and Research Questions

Four major themes on diet and fitness content and advertising dominate throughout the

literature. First, the media, magazines in particular, are influential in both how we perceive

ourselves and how we understand healthy eating habits. Secondly, health information has been

displaced by beauty content in diet and fitness coverage. This is seen through the use of thin,

airbrushed models, content that suggests that readers can hope to attain such an ideal body and

the portrayed desire to be aesthetically pleasing for men. This plays into the third theme. As

women strive to look more beautiful through rigorous diet and fitness regimes, they are

constantly tempted by advertisements for fatty and sugar-laden foods. Much of the research

suggests that women who diet often gain weight in the long run. This causes frustration, which

may cause poor body perception or even disordered eating. Lastly, food advertisements fill

women's magazines, with women's service magazines receiving the lion's share of ad revenue

from the food industry.

One thing lacking in the research, however, is a comparison of the editorial aspects of teen

and women's diet and fitness coverage. This study was designed to fill in the gap by answering

the following research questions: 1. How did women's magazines frame information related to









diet and exercise, through both content and graphics, during 2005? 2. How did female-oriented

teen magazines frame such content? 3. What types of advertisements were placed adjacent to

such content in both the teen and women's magazines?

By looking at these questions in this way, the study will be able to analyze teen and

women's magazines separately and provide comparison data. Doing so will determine if similar

frames are being used for the different age groups. This information could pinpoint more

precisely what's being said-not just shown pictorially-and to which group. Also, with the

addition of the advertisement research question, the study seeks both to confirm previous

research that suggests the placement of fatty/sugary food advertisements next to dieting content

and to show any differences in teen and women's magazines advertisements.









CHAPTER 3
METHODS

Chapter 3 describes the method used for the study and outlines how the study was

conducted. The method for this study was a qualitative framing analysis of articles focusing on

fitness, nutrition and diet in national women's and teen magazines. The content of adjacent

advertisements-ads that appeared immediately before, after or in the middle of the stories-also

were analyzed. In both the articles and ads, this study looked at how the content was framed,

noting the catch phrases, keywords, exemplars, source listings, metaphors, images and photos.

This method follows the example of past framing studies, including the Zoch (2001) and the

Hertog and McLeod (2001) studies.

Why Magazines and How They Were Selected

This study focuses on women's and teen magazines because they are at the forefront of the

body image debate and are most likely to report frequently on dieting, nutrition and/or fitness

compared to other media. A comparison of the two genres also revealed some differences

between women's and teen magazines, which offer further, less-explored insight into how

women's and teen magazines frame such topics. A comparison between women's magazines and

teen magazines was thought important because it could reveal a pattern of frames that starts with

teen magazines (and their readers) and gradually progresses to women's magazines (and their

readers). If similar frames are found in both, it stands to reason that this frame would greatly

affect how one perceives health and fitness coverage, since it has been told to the reader since

adolescence. This study differed from other magazine body image studies by looking

extensively at the editorial content and not only the graphics or advertisements. Looking at what

the content of a story is saying in addition to what it is saying pictorially gives researchers and

media professionals a better understanding of the entire message that is being sent the readers.









Five magazine titles from each genre were chosen based on high national circulation rates.

Preference was given to magazines that had a teen/woman counterpart magazine (for instance,

Cosmopolitan and CosmoGirl!). However, many such counterparts differed in subject matter and

could not be used for the study. For instance, Teen People fell into the category of a general teen

magazine (with subjects ranging from fashion to health). People magazine, on the other hand,

dealt almost exclusively with celebrity gossip and was a more niche magazine. A similar

occurrence happened with Vogue, a niche fashion magazine, and Teen Vogue, a more general

teen magazine. Taking circulation figures and top-ranked positions from within the teen genre

into consideration, the teen titles studied are: Elle Girl, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Teen People and

CosmoGirl! The women's titles are: Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Self, Glamour and Allure. Each

magazine was selected for its high national circulation as recorded by the Audit Bureau of

Circulation in 2005. Each selected magazine was on the top-100 list for all magazines in the

United States during 2005, except for Elle Girl, which lagged slightly behind but still maintained

a leading rank in the teen magazine genre in 2005.

Circulations for the teen magazines were: Elle Girl (about 1.2 million), Seventeen

(2,034,462), Teen Vogue (1,410,609), Teen People (1,525,409) and CosmoGirl! (1,383,468).

Note: In 2006, Elle Girl and Teen People folded their print editions and published

exclusively online. During 2005 and through the beginning of 2006, they were both still among

the top-selling teen magazines in print.

For the women's magazines: Cosmopolitan (2,969,952), Redbook (2,412,882), Self

(1,410,476), Glamour (2,371,986) and Allure (1,060,099).

A complete year (2005) of each title was examined. The year 2005 was determined as an

appropriate year for study because of a number of important dietary and fitness studies published









in 2004 and early 2005. Studies done during this time frame provide the 2005 issues (1)

information that would be timely and (2) enough time to make up for any production lag time

(most magazines finish issues months before publication). Also, most of these studies are not

done yearly, and the statistics they report were the most recent available at the time of this study.

The first study, which is conducted every five years, was released by the U.S. Department

of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture on January 12, 2005

(Dietary Guidelines, 2005). It reported on dietary guidelines that would "promote health and

reduce the risk of major chronic diseases." The recommendations focused on long-term health,

which is a topic one would expect to find in the magazine articles. Second, a series of studies

reported on by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health gave

the statistics for 2004. The statistics focused on the obesity rate of adults and adolescents

(NHANES, 2004; Prevalence, 2004). Similarly, the Data Resource Center for Child &

Adolescent Health published a study titled "Overweight and Physical Activity Among Children:

A Portrait of States and the Nation, 2005," which reported on the low level of physical activity

and increase in numbers of overweight children. Such studies would seem especially topical for

diet and fitness coverage. The implications of all these studies, however, give further insight to

the environment in which the articles were written. The studies point to an increase in obesity

and a decrease in physical activity, and how magazines frame their stories could have

contradicted or coincided with the national trends.

How the Articles Were Chosen

All magazine issues from the selected titles for 2005 were examined by perusing the table

of contents and by flipping through cover-to-cover. All editorial items-feature articles, briefs,

letters and Q&As-that focused on diet, nutrition, fitness and exercise were selected. Likewise,

the adjacent ads-all-sized advertisements that appeared on the page before, after or in the









middle of diet and fitness stories-also were included in the study sample. For this study, it did

most ads were one or more pages. Although it could be argued that smaller ads have less impact

on readers than one- or two-page ads, separating the ads would not have made much of a

difference.

How the Articles Were Coded and Interpreted

In order to determine the frames, a coding sheet was constructed to allow listings of the

aspects mentioned before: keywords, phrases, sources, length, prominence, etc. (Appendix A).

Each article was first read in its entirety to determine the main topic, secondary topics and any

encompassing themes. The story was then read a second time line-by-line in order to determine

sentencing, wording, phrasing and sourcing. Through a third scan of the story, the coder recorded

the story's length, location within the magazine and visual images onto the code sheet. After

completion, the code sheets were read and analyzed to determine repeated arguments, themes

and occurrences.

Frames were not predetermined. Instead, they were found as the content was read. This

was to ensure that all possible frames were found and to eliminate unintentional research bias by

selecting only a limited range of frames. Colored pens were used to mark each frame and its

corresponding themes on the article. For instance, words and phrases such as "fast," "in only 10

minutes" or "quick steps for the busy, career-driven mom" denoted a quick, in-no-time frame.

This frame was underlined in blue. Another frame, "sinister or scary," was highlighted using a

pink pen. At the end of coding all articles, the researcher was able to go through all the

photocopied articles and see how often each color was used. The most used colors also reflected

the most used frames. The number of articles in which each frame appeared, the number of times

in each article they were referenced and a frame's location in each article (was it used at the

beginning, middle, end?) all were recorded. In order to prevent items from being highlighted in









one color that later proved to reflect two separate frames, the researcher did not highlight

immediately upon first reading the articles. Instead, the researcher first used pencil-written notes

and then went back and highlighted. Advertisements were coded in a similar way. Each article's

code sheet included questions related to the surrounding ads: the length, the product sold, a

description of the photographs and a framing analysis of the textual content.









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

Chapter 4 outlines the results of the study. It reveals the statistics for diet and fitness

content and graphics in teen and women's magazines, the frames of this content and the products

advertised adjacent to the content.

Findings for Editorial Content

One hundred seventy-nine articles were identified and coded across the 10 magazines. One

hundred twenty-three articles were found in the five women's magazines: Cosmopolitan (n=9),

Redbook (n=21), Self(n=42), Glamour (n=23) and Allure (n=28). The other 56 articles were

found in the teen magazines: Elle Girl (n=7), Teen Vogue (n=7), Seventeen (n=13), Cosmo Girl!

(n=24) and Teen People (n=5). The lengths of the articles varied. The average women's

magazine article had a slightly higher page count than its teen counterpart. The average diet and

fitness article contained 2.25 pages of content for women's magazines and 1.85 pages for teen

magazines. (Tables 4-1 and 4-2).

Most diet and fitness articles for both genres (n=53) were found in a health and nutrition

section. This was true for about 23% (n=28) of all the coded women's articles and about 45%

(n=25) of the teen articles. A difference in the two genres emerged in the second most-used

section. Compared to about 12% (n=14) of the women's magazine articles found in food or

eating right sections, about 20% (n=l )of the teen magazine articles appeared in a peer or real-

life department. Both women's and teen magazines shared fitness and body sections as the third

most used. In women's and teen magazines about 11% (women's, n=13; teen, n=6) of its diet

and fitness articles appeared in such sections. Living sections made up the fourth most common

section where 6.5% (n=8) of fitness and diet articles were found in women's magazines. For teen

magazines, beauty sections came in fourth with 3.3% (n=4) of the articles. (Tables 4-4 and 4-5).









More women's fitness and nutrition content (n=41 or 33%) headlined on its magazine's

front cover than on the teen covers (n=12 or 21%). Nine of the women's cover stories-about

7%-were the dominant headline. This was determined by typeface size. However, four of the

teen articles-also about 7%-were the dominant headlines on the cover as well.

The two magazine genres differed little in the type of authors used. Most articles were

written by staff writers or freelance journalists (women's n=54; teen n=34) followed by ordinary-

person accounts (women's n=4; teen n=8). These first-person stories are by non-famous people

who most commonly share how they shed a considerable amount of weight or about their

struggle with eating. The third most common author type differed: experts advice such as

registered dietitians or fitness professionals (n=2 or 2%) for women's magazines, and first-

person celebrity stories (n=2 or 3.6%) for teen content. (Tables 4-4 and 4-5).

The top five sources used in women's magazines tended to be professionals. Dietitians

were referenced in about 32% (n=39) of the articles, doctors in 28% (n=34), fitness experts in

25% (n=31), academic journals or research studies in 18% (n=22) and product and business

owners in 13% (n=16). Teen magazines, on the other hand, were most likely to source peers and

non-famous ordinary people. Peers were attributed in 41% (n=23) of the diet and fitness articles.

This was followed by dietitians in 39% (n=22) of the articles, celebrities in 18% (n=10), product

and business owners in 13% (n=7), and beauty experts in 3.5 % (n=2). (Tables 4-4 and 4-5).

The photographs accompanying each article also differed slightly from women's to teen

magazines. Most photographs in women's magazines consisted of pretty, thin fashion models

(n=25), healthy food (n=24)-which for the purpose of this study encompassed foods found on

the food pyramid: vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meats, etc.-thin women eating food (n=8), and

products and accessories, such as shoes, watches and brand-name fitness equipment (n=8). Sexy









body parts, such as a close-up on a woman's buttocks, also ranked as some of the most prevalent

photographs with n=7. (Table 4-3).

Teen magazines focused more on food. Junk and fast food, such as ice cream, hamburgers

and French fries, were the most prevalent type of graphic (n=16). This was followed by

celebrities (n=12) and pretty, skinny teen models (n=12), healthy food (n=9) and everyday,

normal-looking peers (n=8). (Table 4-3).

RQ 1: How Did Women's Magazines Frame Information Related to Diet and Exercise,
through Both Content and Graphics, during 2005?

The women's magazines included of 123 articles from Redbook (n=21), Cosmopolitan

(n=9), Self(n=42), Glamour (n=23) and Allure (n=28). The average Redbook diet and fitness

article was 2.19 pages, the average Self article was 3.33 pages, the average Cosmo article was

1.17 pages and the average Allure and Glamour article was about 2.28 pages. The main topics

centered on (1) how-to information (n=37), which consisted of step-by-step exercise routines and

diet plans, (2) beauty-centered stories (n=21) that promoted exercise and diet as a means to

achieve a specific look, and (3) health news (n=20) that reported on recent studies, polls and

relatively current events. The rest of the main topics were less frequent, including managing

temptation (n=8), long-term health (n=6) and combating stress (n=4). (Table 4-4).

Through an analysis of headlines, subheads, written content and graphics, four media

frames can be attached to women's magazine diet and fitness articles. They are (1) the fast-and-

easy cheer, (2) the quest for beauty, (3) the doctor's visit, and (4) the sinister or scary frame.

The fast-and-easy cheer

One of the most prevalent selling points in women's diet and fitness headlines was

expediency and ease. References to "easy," "fast" and related words and phrases like "quick,"

"in no time," etc. were found in 23% of headlines (n=28), 10% of subheads (n=12) and in 77%









of the text, pull quotes and other such written content (n=95). Promises of easy-to-do workouts

and diets made up 44 percent of all content, while fast- or instant-results stories accounted for a

third of all content.

The fast-and-easy cheer frame has a rah-rah tone. It encourages readers that they can

achieve a desired body with little effort or loss of tasty foods as long as the prescribed exercise

routine or diet regimen is applied. The fast-and-easy terminology is mixed with cheerleader-like

optimism. This is seen with statements like "you'll see results before Memorial Day," "couldn't

be easier" and "losing weight is child's play" (Yeager, March 2005, p. 30; Buchan December

2005, p. 226). The usual 20-minute workout section in Redbook was even "slashed ... in half" to

"10 minutes to a better body." It states, "This quickie workout tones all of your trouble spots

with just 3 easy moves" (Yeager, October 2005, p. 32). Some examples provide even more you-

can-do-it spunk, such as an Allure article that states, "this is the year you'll get healthy," and a

Glamour article promising, you too can "lose up six pounds a month" (Levine, January 2005, p.

42; Lyons, May 2005, p. 105).

Other instant-results framed stories include one from Glamour about a recent study done

on diet injections that are supposed to reduce one's desire to overeat. It reads, "A drug in

development shows promise for weight loss they ate 25 to 35 percent less per meal and lost

an average of five pounds" (Health: Body News, December 2005, p. 130).

It is worth a note that most of the fast-and-easy framed stories came in the form of how-to

articles, which provide step-by-step exercising methods or eating schedules. About a third of all

the women's diet and fitness articles contained a main or secondary topic with how-to

information.









The quest for beauty

Fitness and diet articles often referenced losing weight, staying fit and eating right as a

means to achieve beauty or to enhance how one looks. Primping and beauty terminology was

often used throughout such stories. One Allure article included weight loss in its "Insider Guide

Total Makeover," which advocated readers to loss weight for a more beautiful body by

"Thinking Thin" (Devash, February 1, 2005, 95). In describing one woman's quest for thinness,

it states, "Since beginning the makeover a month ago, Lichota rewards herself with a manicure

or massage instead of candy."

The beauty frame appeared 37 times, in fact, in all content areas. Beauty was also the

leading frame for headlines (n=23) and the top frame for subheads (n=12). Further, it was the

main topic in 13% (n=16) of all stories.

A Cosmo piece, for instance, discussed the importance of eating habits in relation to one's

breast size. It reads: "Breasts are made up of mostly fat, and any excess pounds practically go

straight to your chests. Unfortunately, when you lose weight, boob flab is among the first to be

shed ... repeatedly gaining and losing pounds forces the delicate skin on your set to expand and

contract over and over again. The result: harmless (but unwanted) red or white streaks on your

girls" (Nemec, June 2005, p. 254). Another Cosmo article claims "If you do 10 to 15 reps of each

exercise three times a week for just two weeks and follow our detox diet .. the temperature

won't be the only thing getting H-O-T-T-E-R" (Buchan, July 2005, p. 43). Again, the focus is on

appearance rather than "the temperature is rising so you need more water."

Likewise, Self has a fitness department called "20 minutes to a better body" and had

published a stories that remarked, "the best look-great-fast trick" or the way to "look instantly

thinner" (Yeager, December 2005, p. 26; Schipani, May 2005, p. 38). Cosmo titled one of its

articles "Look Hot in Shorts." It gave three steps of content and demonstration photos outlining









how to "transform your thighs" for summer attire (Buchan, June 2005, p. 254). A Glamour

article was titled, "The great glamour body plan. (exercises for weight loss)" (Lyons, May 2005,

p. 105). No matter whether it is to maintain youthful skin or to get a slimmer body, the emphasis

and wording of these articles exhorts readers to exercise for looks and not for health.

The doctor's visit

In contrast to the beauty frame is the use of diet and fitness articles to promote healthy

living. This appears somewhat less frequently. Long-term health benefits and consequences are

apparent in 21 articles. It is seldom used, however, as a main topic. One exception was an article

titled "10 (fun!) ways to reduce your blood pressure" in the December 2005 edition of Self. The

article lists diet and exercise choices that promote a heart-healthy lifestyle. The long-term health

subject is more commonly added into a story, however, as a secondary topic. For instance, "You

are what you drink" is a June 2005 Redbook article about rampant sugar in non-alcoholic,

everyday drinks. Although it is first about calories, it also discusses Type 2 diabetes and its

ensuing heart and kidney damage.

The doctor's visit frame resulting from the long-term health subject has a medical

informational tone. It uses popular jargon and definitions to inform and is similar to how a doctor

speaks to a patient. For example, one article touted, "antioxidant-rich foods, which are believed

to protect against some cancers and other diseases," and one article suggested "aerobic exercise

of medium intensity three or five days" to lessen the symptoms of depression (Health: Food

News, June 1, 2005, p. 126; Fitness News, June 1, 2005, p. 138).

Even the food for boobs story in Cosmo-mentioned as an example in the beauty frame

section-offers health information in its last paragraph. It reads: "Studies suggest that

overweight women increase their odds of developing breast cancer fivefold. The reason: Fat cells









produce estrogen-a known breast-cancer trigger. The more fat cells you have, the greater the

amount of estrogen circulating in your bloodstream" (Nemec, June 2005, p. 254).

Glamour described a diet plan "that can help in making smarter choices to lower risk of

heart disease by nearly eighty percent" (Laliberte, February 2005, p. 200).

The sinister or scary frame

The last major frame found in women's magazines for diet and fitness coverage is the

sinister or scary frame. This frame implies that danger or evil awaits anyone who is overweight

or who does not follow a prescribed fitness/dietary regimen. Words and phrases included "risk,"

"scary," "drowning" and "devilish" (Birnbaum, June 2005, p. 122). The sinister or scary frame

was found in 13% of the stories (n=16). Eight of those articles focused on satanic words, six on

danger or beware terminology and two on fear.

One example of the satanic-themed word usage is "The Top Diet Sins ... and How to Fix

Them" in Redbook (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56). The article details five common food

blunders and how one can take steps to avoid them. In this article, eating too much chocolate

equated to committing a mortal, immoral wrongdoing, while following its diet method was

associated with salvation. This Redbook article about "top diet sins," also includes health topics

(although in the last two paragraphs) about multiple health-enhancing nutrients and benefits like

fiber and antioxidants. These topics, however, did not have the same medical-informational tone

found in the doctor-visit frame. Instead, they were paired with danger and evil words like

"blunder" and "sin" (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56).

One article in Allure, outlined a recent study about how married women were more jealous

of other women with a certain female body type with "a small waist-to-hip ratio and a high

ratio of shoulders to hips" (Health: Mood news, December 1, 2005, p. 133). Words were used

included "threatened," "potential rivals" and "intimidating." A Glamour article is titled "The diet









that can save your life," which suggests that your life may be in danger and needs saving

(Laliberte, February 2005, p. 200).

Women's graphics in review

Content photos from the five women's magazines tended to be of pretty, thin models (n=44

or 36%), healthy food (n=25 or 21%) and everyday women (n=22 or 18%). Everyday women

were non-famous, ordinary people with less-than-perfect bodies. Such photos accompanied

stories such as "The top diet sins," which included a photo of a middle-aged woman relaxing on

a couch watching TV and eating a healthy mini-meal (Kuzemchak, February 2005, p. 56). Thin

models, however, were used more often in fitness articles, such as the how-to shape-up stories.

Depictions of healthy food items, coded as a food that would appear on the food pyramid such as

fruits, vegetables, lean meat, outnumbered fast food and junk food (n=6) by six stories or about

5%.

In sum: Women's magazines focused on four frames: the fast-and-easy cheer, the quest for

beauty, the doctor's visit and the sinister or scary frame. The content's graphics, on the other

hand, showed thin models, healthy food and everyday women. (Table 4-3).

RQ 2: How Did Female-Oriented Teen Magazines Frame Such Content?

Teen magazines had 56 fitness and diet articles from Cosmo Girl! (n=24), Seventeen

(n=13), Elle Girl (n=7), Teen Vogue (n=7) and Teen People (n=5). The average article length for

all five magazines was 1.85 pages. The main topics centered on how-to information (n=18 or

32%), food recipes (n=7 or 13%) and beauty (n=6 or 11%). Three other main topics followed

closely, including celebrity diets (n=5), sports (n=5) and weight loss (n=5). Ordinary people

were the most often quoted (n=23 or 41%), followed by dietitians and nutritionists (n=22 or

39%) and celebrities (n=10 or 18%). (Table 4-5).









Through an analysis of headlines, subheads, written content and graphics, four media

frames were found in teen diet and fitness articles. They are: 1. The quest for beauty, 2. Celebrity

star-power, 3. The great you and 4. Eating-disorder frame (overeating and under-eating).

The quest for beauty frame

Just as in women's magazines, a dominant theme in teen diet and fitness articles is health

for beauty's sake. The focus on looks was found in 48% (n=27) of all coded teen articles with

beauty being the main topic 11% (n=6) of the time. The headlines also used look-better wording

the most (n=8 or 14%). An Elle Girl example comes from an article about a weight-loss boarding

school. One of the students stated: "'I've been called ugly for so long that I believe it. There's

this one girl who has dropped a lot of weight, and I think she is so pretty, but she doesn't think

so. There's no such thing as a pretty fat girl'" (Brashich, March 2005, p. 106). Although there are

some body image implications in the quote, the focus is on students losing weight to achieve

good looks.

Many articles perpetuate this lofty goal. Exercise workout plans stress "toning" and

"slimming down." One Seventeen article headline promised to help readers "get leaner with

cardio" with its "waist-trimming workout" (get leaner, August 2005, p. 42). The cover headline

for this article touted that users will "Get a tiny waist." Another Cosmo Girl! workout plan

explains that its routine is perfect for "pre-swimsuit activity" (Goldstein, May 2005, p. 100). And

while a Teen People article was prefaced with "Of course, it's what's inside that counts," it was

directly followed by "But if you ever feel that what size jeans you wear or how big your boobs

are is a huge deal, you're not alone" (How Do You Feel About Your Body? August 1, 2005, p.

186).









The beauty frame doesn't relate only to body size, however. Another Elle Girl article listed

hair growth as a reason why one should stock up on his or her nutrients, and Teen Vogue

recommended going organic (with food) to prevent breakouts.

The celebrity star-power frame

The celebrity star-power frame used phrases and words that referenced fame and the

famous and equated it to weight loss, fitness or dieting. One article references music star Fergie

from the band Black Eyed Peas by stating "Ab fabulous! Want a stomach like Fergie's?" (Cosmo

Girl, February 2005, p. 74). The article then gives ten moves it says will make the reader look

like a rock star.

Celebrity first-person accounts made up 4% (n=2) of all coverage, and celebrity references

were found in another 38% (n=21) of the stories. These young, famous stars were even found in

21% (n=12) of all photos. Many of these star-studded photos had little to do with the actual

content of the story. For instance, two Teen Vogue articles about reading nutrition labels and

staying away from fad diets showed five candid shots each of celebrities shoveling down fast

food. The headlines read: "Not all celebs are afraid of food" and "These celebs can't resist a trip

through the drive-through" (Value Mean, April 2005, p. 179; Salad Daze, May 2005, p. 151).

The celebrities in the photos also tend to be the extremely thin kind such as Mischa Barton,

Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton. A Cosmo Girl! article, in the same issue, shows a series of stars

and supermodels stuffing their faces with food. The headline reads, "Cram session: in

Hollywood these days, it's less Atkins, more napkins!" (Cosmo Girl, February 2005, p. 183).

One caption for a photo of Kelly Osbourne consuming a bag of potato chips reads, "Osbournes

sure have trouble keeping their mouths shut!" and another caption for a photo of supermodel

Gisele sloppily eating a large roast beef sandwich reads, "Even supermodels like it supersized!"

(Cosmo Girl, February 2005, p. 183). Another Cosmo Girl! article reads, "So what if you'll never









be a movie star? You can still eat like one with these healthy recipes!" (Celebrity bites, June/July

2005, p. 82).

Elle Girl also features a list of food requests for rock band Fall Out Boy's bus tour. Items

include Doritos chips, Mountain Dew soda, Wonder Bread and Gushers fruit snacks. The subtitle

reads: "After this, you'll never understand how Fall Out Boy keep their girlish figures" (Fall Out

Food, November 2005, p. 107).

The great you frame: Confidence and body image

The great-you frame focuses on inner beauty and accepting oneself. It has a comforting

tone, letting the reader know she is not alone and that she too can gain confidence. A Cosmo

Girl! article, titled "Hey, Beautiful! That's YOU we're talking to," stated that "And we know

you like hearing it, because who doesn't? The problem is, we've all become obsessed with

looking good ... all of your CG! sisters are marching alongside ... You feel confident, you feel

strong" (Hey, Beautiful! April 2005, p. 105).

Confidence and body image references were found most often in the written content (n=21

or 38%) and were often part of a personal account of being overweight. The subjects dealt with

feeling poorly about oneself, gaining confidence or learning how to accept and love one's inner

self. Seventeen, for instance, published a first-person story of a girl who lost 116 pounds.

Throughout the article, the girl recounted being teased and how she felt like she "was too fat to

ever make friends" (real life, April 2005, p. 123). At the end of the article, she stated:

"Maintaining my weight is still a struggle-after school I'm tired and don't want to exercise. But

then I remember that being healthy-and feeling happy about who I am-makes it all worth it"

(Real Life, April 2005, p. 124).

Another article in Teen Vogue gave celebrity Kelly Osbourne's first-person perspective on

being "fat" in Hollywood. She stated: "I was definitely different. And in Hollywood-much like









in the average American high school-being different is not a good thing," and "when you feel

ugly and everyone's telling you that you are ugly, well, you tend to believe it" (L.A. Story,

June/July 2005, p. 141). At the end, she responds to such teasing with the inner strength and

confidence she's earned. She stated, "But I've learned to get on with my life" (L.A. Story,

June/July 2005, p. 142).

A Cosmo Girl! back-to-school workout plan focused on exercise for the sake of being cool,

calm and feeling confident for the new school year. It stated that exercise "makes you feel good

by increasing your energy level, reducing tension, and even making you happier in general ...

improve your mood" (Cosmo Girl, September 2005, p. 112).

Teen People also contained the confidence frame. One article quoted a reader as saying,

"My friends are tiny compared to me, and listening to them complain about having to lose

weight makes me feel even fatter" (Insecurity, October 1, 2005, p. 64). Another article described

the struggles of a high-school student who weighed 280 pounds. It stated, "I was extremely self-

conscious. I wouldn't talk in class because my classmates could be mean. One time these guys

compared me to an elephant and started chanting, 'Obese! Obese!' That killed me" (Herr, Roan,

April 2005, p. 61). After losing 105 pounds, she exclaims, "I have so much more confidence

now."

Eating-disorder frame

Closely linked to the body-image topic, eating disorders-used in this case to mean

extreme, uncontrollable overeating and severe under-eating like starving oneself or purging-

was referenced 15 times or in about 27% of the stories. This topic was often accompanied with a

struggle tone. All five magazines use words like "binge" and "disorder" frequently. One article

found in Elle Girl, for example, quoted a girl who attended a boarding school for obese teens.

She stated: "'I would tell myself, I don't have a problem I'm not one of those girls you see on









TV who has an eating disorder. Maybe I like food, that's all.' But Jessica says that at AOS (the

school), she's realized that liking food too much can be an eating disorder" (Brashich, March

2005, p. 104).

An article in Teen Vogue looked at obese teens who attended weight-loss camps. Many of

their sources confessed to trying everything beforehand to lose weight, including "just not eating

at all." A CosmoGirl! article about getting fit said, "More people these days are suffering from

eating disorders and obesity than ever before. It's time we put a stop to this epidemic!" (Hey,

Beautiful, April 2005, p. 105).

Graphics for teen magazines

Photos from the five magazines tended to be of junk or fast food (n=16 or 29%), pretty,

thin models (n=12 or 21%) and celebrities (n=12 or 21%). Often the junk food was shown

alongside a calorie-counting story and was described as food to avoid. Healthy food was 18%

less likely than junk food to be shown in such stories (n=9).

In sum: Teen magazines focused on four frames: beauty, celebrities, body image and

eating disorders. The graphics, on the other hand, displayed fattening foods, thin models and

celebrities.

RQ3: What Types of Advertisements Were Placed Adjacent to Such Content in Both the
Teen and Women's Magazines?

Three hundred seventy-one advertisements appeared directly before, after or in the middle

of the fitness and diet coverage for all 10 magazines. Two hundred ninety-five ads were found in

the five women's magazines: Cosmopolitan (n=16), Redbook (n=106), Self(n=90), Glamour

(n=37) and Allure (n=46). The other 76 advertisements were found in the teen magazines: Elle

Girl (n=5), Teen Vogue (n=5), Seventeen (n=18), Cosmo Girl! (n=39) and Teen People (n=9).

The majority of ads for all magazines in both genres were one-page long 59% (n=45) of the









teen ads and 77% (n=227) of the women's ads were on a single page. The average women's

magazine ad had a slightly higher ad page count than its teen counterparts with more two-page

and foldout advertisements (n=24) of women's magazine ads with more than one page compared

to n=4 for teen magazines). In teen magazines, 13% (n=10) of advertisements were half a page

or less, while in women's magazine ads 15% (n=44) were half a page or less.

A fairly even mixture of placements-before and after diet and fitness coverage-was

found in both teen and women's magazines. About 34% (n=26) of the teen advertisements were

placed before the content and 25% (n=19) were placed after it. Only about 11% (n=8) of the ads

were placed in the middle, but this simply could be because much of the diet and fitness

coverage in teen magazines consisted of either a single page or a two-page spread (two

consecutive pages facing each other). Again, the average length of diet and fitness coverage in

teen magazines was 1.85 pages. Women's magazines also had a fairly even mixture: before

(n=84), middle (n= 12) and after (n=84). The rest of the ads were between two fitness stories.

Teen and women's advertisements differed slightly in the products they sold. Women's

magazines contained far more food and drink ads (52% or n=152) than teen magazines (5.3% or

n=4). The top five products sold next to diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines were (1)

beauty products (26% or n=20), (2) Fashion, such as clothes and shoes (16% or n=12), (3)

entertainment, such as television shows, movies CDs and DVDs (11% or n=8), (4) electronics

and technology (6.6% or n=5) and (5) pads and tampons (5.3% or n=4) and drinks two milk

ads, a soda ad and a sugary fruit juice ad (5.3% or n=4). The top five products for women's

magazines were (1) food advertised as low-fat, healthy, light or organic (26% or n=76), (2) food

not advertised as healthy (19% or n=56), (3) beauty products (14% or n=40), (4) medicine (6.8%

or n=20) and (5) drinks advertised as healthy (6.8% or n=20).









Photos also differed somewhat between the two genres. Both teen and women's magazine

ads tended to feature people, but central photographs of the products were found more

prominently in women's magazines. The top advertisement photographs used in teen magazines

were of (1) celebrities (24% or n=18), (2) pretty, skinny fashion models (14% or n=l 1), (3)

romantic embraces or implications between a girl and guy (9.2% or n=7), (4) skinny cartoon

people (7.9% or n=6) and (5) everyday-looking peers (5.2% or n=4). The top five photo types for

women's magazines were (1) food (46% or n=136), (2) fashion models (27% or n=80), and

parenting or children (5.4% or n=16). Sexy men, normal-looking women and cleaning supplies

were also frequently found (each n=12).

Findings for Advertisements

The top ad frames for teen magazines were (1) the sexy temptress, (2) being beautiful, (3)

the fun life, and (4) romance.

The most common frame in teen advertisements was that of the sexy temptress. Such ads

were found next to 13% (n=10) of all diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines. They usually

included sexy wording, suggestive body poses and close-ups of fit body parts. One example in

CosmoGirl! pictured pop star Jessica Simpson with a large lollipop. The ad was for her line of

beauty products. Its heading read, "Be luscious all over!" and later "Get head-to-toe yummy ...

in tantalizing fragrances irresistibly kissable all over" (CosmoGirl, Oct. 2005, p. 61). Another

Seventeen ad, for Skechers Footwear, featured two photos of pop princess Christina Aguilera.

One photo was of her as a scantly-clad cop dangling hand cuffs, and the other was of Aguilera

bent over a car, presumably getting arrested by her alter ego, with her rear end jutting out

(Seventeen, July 2005, p. 87). The non-celebrity variety of sexy temptress was also found. An ad

in Teen Vogue for perfume displayed a smoky-eyed fashion model giving a come-hither look.

The words read, "the luscious new feeling in fragrance pleasures exotic" (Teen Vogue,









October 2005, p. 51). Another ad from Teen Vogue, selling jeans, featured two young models

with their rear ends facing the camera. One girl has her hand deep inside her jean pocket. The

text reads, "Juicy girls shine on" (Teen Vogue, June/July 2005, p. 74). Lastly, a Teen People ad

selling shoes focuses on a pair of long, female legs dangling from a man's lap. His hand is placed

high on her thigh. The brand name is the only text that appears, "red hot" (Teen People, October

2005, p. 33).

The second most common frame in teen advertisements was beauty. This was found in

12% (n=9) of the ads. The beauty frame consisted of wording and phrases that exuded the "you

too can be beautiful" tone-as long as you use the product, of course. These ads were often

paired with beautiful, Cover Girl-type models. Examples included beauty products like facial

cleansers, makeup and fashion. One St. Ives facial cleanser ad in Teen People shows a close-up

of a beautiful face. It reads, "You scrub. You exfoliate. You fight blemishes. You glow" (Teen

People, June/July 2005, p. 37). The words "you glow" are accented with a different color font.

A fun frame tied as the second most frequent frame, and was also in 12% (n=9) of the

stories. Content and photos portrayed a full life and adventure. One Sea Breeze facial cleanser ad

stated, "Keep it clearer hours longer. For days that never stop" (Cosmo Girl, May 2005, p. 53).

Another, found in Teen Vogue, was for sunless tanner. Two girls in party dresses are laughing

and taking photos of each other. The text reads, "celebrate" (Teen Vogue, June/July 2005, p. 41).

The fourth frame from the teen ads was romance, which consisted of a boy and girl

model-always thin, fit and attractive-usually touching (an embrace, cuddling, holding hands)

or exchanging a suggestive glance. Although these models also sometimes portrayed with a

somewhat sexy look, they usually were more wholesome and dealt more with love and

relationships. The ads using the sexy temptress frame mainly pictured only girl models.









The romance frame was found in 11% (n=8) of the ads next to diet and fitness coverage.

One example, found in multiple magazines, is for Sea Breeze facial cleanser. The photo shows a

teen girl and boy in close proximity on a sailboat. One presumes they are looking out toward the

ocean, and both have large smiles (Cosmo Girl, May 2005, p. 53). Another ad, again for

Skechers Footwear, is of American Idol pop star Carrie Underwood. She is surrounded by

handsome, male shoe salesmen all offering her pairs of shoes. She gives a shocked, blushed

expression with her hand just inches from her mouth (Seventeen, Oct. 2005, p. 83). Lastly, a

Snapple ad states prominently, "It's spring ... and luv is in the air!" Two Snapple juice bottles

are placed next to each other with a heart in the background. The content touts, "everyone wants

a lotta luv!" (Elle Girl, March 2005, p. 165).

The top ad frames for women's magazines were (1) taste, (2) feeling good/having a good

life, (3) beauty and (4) sex and/or romance.

Taste was the most frequent frame it was found in 33% (n=96) of women's ads. This

frame featured words like "scrumptious," "delicious" and "flavorful," and focused on how the

product, usually a reduced-fat or healthier food, tasted. One ad for Tostitos in Redbook showed a

female hand scooping salsa into a chip. The ad stated, "All the taste with 0 grams of trans fat.

Your family won't know the difference, but you will ... still taste great" (Redbook, February

2005, p. 166). Likewise, an Extra gum ad touts that its product is "mouthwateringly cool ...

flavor and beyond," and a Nicorette ad promises that it is "the best tasting nicotine gum"

(Redbook, November 2005, p. 181; Glamour, November 2005, p. 96).

The good-life frame was found in 28% (n=84) of the ads one page before, after and in the

middle of diet and fitness coverage. Such ads portrayed a carefree, happy lifestyle. Terms such as

"smile," "fun" and "adventure" were often used. One example comes from a series of Ritz









cracker ads featured throughout the year in Redbook. One shows three regular Ritz crackers with

Kraft cheese spray spelling the word "fun" (Redbook, November 2005, p. 183). The text reads,

"create smiles ... let your imagination run wild." Another ad shows Ritz sticks dipped in a salsa-

like sauce with text reading, "the world of dipping is now a happier place," and another Ritz ad

reads "real food. real fun" (Redbook, June 2005, p. 201; Redbook, February 2005, p. 97). A

Kashi cereal ad in Se/f also has a adventurous, happy tone. Its text reads, "feel good again. It's

one big, crunchy, honey-toasted, wonderful cycle. See how far it takes you" (Self, April 2005, p.

115). The ad also reads, "I can make this fun" and uses words like "passion."

The beauty frame is similar to the beauty frame found in teen magazine ads. This frame

was found in 30% (n=88) of the coded ads. It focuses on getting approval for your outer looks,

such as in a perfume ad with the word "reaction" printed across a beautiful fashion model's

chest. The smaller text reads, "get reaction" (Cosmo, May 2005, p.121). Another ad, for Reebok

shoes, shows a beautiful, thin woman stretching before a run. The text reads, "I am running for

my skinny jeans" (Self, April 2005, p. 127). Beauty products especially convey this frame. One

Jane cosmetics ad, which pictures a beautiful fashion model, reads, "Not a plain jane."

A fourth frame is that of sex/romance. These ads usually focus on a male and female in

provocative, suggestive poses and use terms such as "provocative" and "alluring." Such frames

were found in 20% (n=60) of women's ads. For example, a Yasmin birth control ad shows a

beautiful woman on top of a man in bed (Self, August 2005, p. 68-69). And a perfume ad shows

actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a sexy black dress. The text reads, "men will melt" (Glamour,

October 2005, p. 131).










Table 4-1. List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitness editorial content for teen
magazines.
Magazine title Number of articles Number of advertisements
CosmoGirl! 24 39
Elle Girl 07 05
Seventeen 13 18
Teen People 05 09
Teen Vogue 07 05
Total 56 76


Table 4-2. List of articles and advertisements found in diet and fitness editorial content for


women's magazines.
Magazine title Number of articles
Allure 28
Cosmopolitan 09
Glamour 23
Redbook 21
Self 42
Total 123


Number of advertisements


Table 4-3. List of top four editorial frames, photographs and advertisement products in diet and
fitness coverage for teen and women's magazines
Magazine Editorial frames Editorial photographs Advertisement products
genre
Teen A quest for beauty Junk/fast food Beauty products
Celebrity star-power Pretty/thin fashion models Fashion: clothes, shoes, accessories
Great you: celebrities Entertainment: Music, movies, TV
confidence/body Electronics/technology
image Female hygiene products
Eating disorder
Women's Fast-and-easy cheer Pretty/thin fashion models Food advertised as healthy
A quest for beauty Healthy food Food NOT advertised as healthy
Doctor's visit, long- Everyday looking women Beauty products
term health Medicine
Sinister/scary Drinks advertised as health











Table 4-4. List of characteristics found in diet and fitness coverage for women's magazines.


Magazine section,
percentage of articles

Health and Nutrition,
23
Food or eating-right,
12
Fitness and body, 11


Living, 6.5

Other,


Sources, percentage of
articles where sources are
quoted
Dietitians, 32

Doctors, 28

Fitness experts, 25


Academic journals or
research studies, 18
Product or business owners,
13


Authors of story,
number of articles

Staff or freelance
journalists, 54
Ordinary person
(first-person), 4
Expert (dietitian,
doctor, fitness
expert), 2


No department,
Total, 100


Main topics,
number of articles

How-to information,
37
Beauty-centered
stories, 21
Health news, 20


Managing temptation,
8
Long-term health, 6

Combating stress, 4


Table 4-5. List of characteristics found in diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines.
Sources, percentage of Main topics,
Magazine section, rces, erce e o Authors of story, Mperentage o
percentage of articles articles where sources are number of articles p
quoted articles
Health and nutrition, Peers and non-famous Staff or freelance How-to information,
45 ordinary people, 41 journalists, 34 32
Peer or real life, 20 Dietitians, 39 Ordinary person Food recipes, 13
(first-person), 8
Fitness and body, 11 Celebrities, 18 Celebrity (first- Beauty, 11
person), 2
Beauty, 3.3 Product and business owners, Celebrity diets, n=5
13
Other, Beauty experts, 3.5 Sports, n=5
No department, Weight loss, n=5
Total,









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

Framing Differences in Teen and Women's Magazines

Chapter 5 discusses the implications of the findings, points out some weaknesses of the

study and suggests future research on magazine diet and fitness coverage.

This study revealed some differences and some similarities in the major frames and topics

in the two genres for diet and fitness coverage. The differences: The women's magazines

focused on primarily fast-and-easy techniques, beauty, long-term health and sinister scare tactics.

The teen magazines, on the other hand, centered more on beauty, celebrities, confidence and

body image, and eating disorders. Therefore, the teen magazines dealt with outer appearances

(fame, beauty) and inner struggles (confidence, eating disorders), whereas the women's versions

contained more of a focus on motivation (speed/ease, scare tactics) and long-term health

benefits. (Tables 5-1 and 5-2).

The sources used are also an interesting point of difference. Women's magazines quoted

more professional sources, with the top one being dietitians and nutritionists (32% or n=39).

Teen magazines, on the other hand, used more ordinary people or peers (41% or n=23). Photo

types also varied. Women's magazines had a higher percentage of healthy food (20% or n=25)

than teen magazines, which tended to carry more junk or fast food photos (29% or n=16).

However, there are also some similarities between the two genres. All of the frames, for

instance, are self-centered. They serve the interest of the reader and do not call for the reader to

help others or society. For instance, the celebrity frame evokes this by showing readers how to be

more like the stars, and the doctor's visit frame informs the reader of how to better her health for

a long, fulfilling life. Few stories were found discussing the obesity epidemic or societal factors,

and only two stories mentioned helping other members of one's family. This contradicts with









what the government research was saying about the trends of dieting and fitness in the United

States. These studies pointed to an epidemic and showed a massive, societal increase in obese

children, teens and adults and a decrease in physical activity (Dietary Guidelines, 2005;

NHANES, 2004; Prevalence, 2004). Such studies, it would seem, would spur stories on national

trends and the implications for long-term health in the country not self-centered stories framed

around beauty, celebrities and ease.

Staying fit and healthy for beauty's sake, in fact, is the only constant theme between the

two genres. Beauty and pretty, thin models were the only significant common factor in all

editorial frames, advertisements and article photos for both teen and women's magazines.

(Tables 5-4 and 5-5). For the women's magazines, the beauty frame was found about equally in

advertisements and editorial content. For teen magazines, editorial content had a higher

percentage of units with a beauty tone than did ads, but beauty was a top frame for both.

However, it is worth a note, that staying fit for beauty is not necessarily bad, since the reader is

motivated, despite reasoning, to stay fit. Undoubtedly, staying fit to look good has the same

health benefits as staying fit for health reasons.

One exception to the all-beauty dominance could be the inner-struggle theme in the teen

magazines, which could be seen as a long-term effort to improve one's health. This would make

it more like the women's magazine doctor's visit frame. However, the women's magazines

focused on physical health benefits of diet and exercise (reduced risk of diabetes and heart

disease, for instance). Body image and eating disorders deal more with mental health and how

one feels about oneself.

What the Diet and Fitness Frames Tells us About Eating Disorders

Eight million women and teens are affected with eating disorders, such as anorexia

nervosa, bulimia nervosa and compulsive overeating (Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). Pairing this









with the fact that dieting is the single most important predictor of such eating disorders, one

would expect that editors and journalists working on magazine dieting and fitness content would

be extra cautious not to promote or even insinuate routines or fad diets that could lead to body

frustrations (Boschi et al., 2003). However, the framing data proves that this is not the case. First

off, diet and fitness coverage in women's magazines was framed as fast and easy. This tells the

reader that an ideal body is obtainable in a short period of time with little effort. Such promises

have little merit, and many of the dieting and fitness regimes in the women's magazines required

strict rules that are hard to maintain. This is not easy. Moreover, safe, permanent weight loss

often spans over a long period of time. Contradictory to what the magazines are saying, it is not a

fast process. Overall, the fast-and-easy frame found in the text falls short of its promises and

this-according to the literature review-could cause the reader body frustration. Although

weight frustration doesn't necessarily equate to an eating disorder, the fast-and-easy frame does

create a diet yo-yo effect described in the literature review. Readers strictly follow the proscribed

diet, but the restrictions are too hard to follow for a long period of time, so they give up. Clearly,

the editorial content is hardly concerned with disordered eating in women.

Secondly, to make sure that the reader does not blame the diet and fitness routines-and

the magazine itself-the sinister or scary frame is in place. The reader is basically made to feel

guilty for her failure to achieve the ideal body. In essence, this frame creates the feeling of being

a bad person for abandoning the proscribed diet and fitness plan-even though realistically this

plan is much too strict. Like the fast-and-easy frame, the sinister or scary frame could lead to

body frustration and even anger with oneself. Again, the escalating statistics on eating disorders

seem not to be a concern when writing diet and fitness coverage in women's magazines.









Another point of note is the number of articles actually addressing adult women eating

disorders. Although teen magazines tackled the issue quite frequently, eating disorder stories

only appeared about twice in the women's magazines. This is despite a study in 2005 that

showed an increase in adult treatment for anorexia in women older than 40 and a study that

ranked weight gain as a major fear in adult women as they grow older (Adult Anorexia, June

2005; Wilson & Blackhurst, 1999). It concludes, then, that if women's magazines are not willing

to cover eating disorders at the broader level (stories about adult eating disorders), it is hard to

fathom that they'd improve how they frame the text at a more detailed or micro level.

Teen magazines tended to be slightly more socially conscious when it came to eating

disorder coverage. Numerous diet and fitness articles brought the issue to the forefront and no

advertisements were placed around such stories. Also, as discussed in the literature review, none

of the magazines had any actual dieting content. Instead, they opted for nutrition and fitness. The

goal of eliminating dieting coverage in these magazines, as discussed previously, was due to

research that linked thin models, dieting content and increased eating disorders. However, the

magazines only cut dieting content without looking at the broader picture. This study found that

thin models still made up a considerable portion of the graphics, and nutrition and fitness articles

still insinuated the ideal image with a focus on beauty.

The beauty frame veers from being socially conscious of girls and eating disorders, since it

creates a fixation with appearance and not health. It tells the reader that she should look a certain

way by proscribing to a particular fitness workout for the sake of being beautiful. The beauty

frame encompassed every aspect of the nutrition and fitness coverage-in the text, in the

graphics and in the advertisements-making it an almost obsessive message. With about 75% of

adolescent girls saying they feel fat, the magazines do little to curb the infiltration of the ideal









image in the diet and fitness coverage (Bishop, 2001). The magazines may not be saying to lose

weight with dieting, but they are implying it with thin models, a focus on beauty and a disregard

of long-term health.

Implications from the Research Questions

RQ1: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Women's Magazines

The high frequency of diet and fitness coverage in women's magazines is evident with the

amount of articles (n=123). Of those articles, the most common frames were the fast-and-easy

cheer, the quest for beauty, the doctor visit and the sinister or scary frame. Three aspects can be

concluded from the results. First, as discussed in relation to eating disorders, diet and fitness

coverage in women's magazines is telling the readers that a thin, ideal body is obtainable through

fast-and-easy means. However, if the reader finds the process hard or slow-which will almost

always be the case because the articles promote strict, hard-to-maintain methods-the reader

must be lazy. This feeling of guilt stems from the sinister or scary frame, which implies negative

stereotypes and evil to being unfit. Therefore, as found in previous literature, the reader is caught

in a bind where, on the one hand, she is receiving cheerleader-like motivation to lose weight but,

on the other hand, she is scolded and made to feel immoral for failing to maintain the strict

routines.

Secondly, another frame tells the readers that the ultimate goal is beauty. The text implies

that the ideal body should be sought after to essentially look like the models, and once achieved,

the reader will no longer be immoral (as being told through the sinister or scary frame). Good is

then equated with beauty.

Third, the doctor's visit frame is a redeeming aspect of diet and fitness coverage in

women's magazines. The frame has a tone that is purely informative, describing jargon and

listing medical rationale as a reason to follow a proscribed diet or fitness method. It is similar to









how a doctor would speak to his or her patient. However, beauty and the fast-and-easy cheer

frames were more frequent than this long-term health focus. Although valuable information is

getting to the reader in an informative tone, this information could be offset by the influx of the

ideal-body message. If one's main concern is with how one looks, health would only be a

secondary concern-if a priority at all.

So what does all this mean? The literature review found the proliferation of the ideal,

impossible-to-mimic body in graphics, advertisements and in the general content of stories. This

study narrows the focus to diet and fitness text-where the ideal, impossible-to-mimic body was

also found. The text alluded to such an image through its most common frames: beauty, fast-and-

easy and sinister or scary. This is possibly one reason why dieting content-according to the

literature review-causes eating disorders. The ideal image is ingrained into the reader from

every aspect of the magazine, even the actual framing of the diet and fitness text. Paired with the

fact that the text provides false information (in regard to being fast and easy) and hard-to-

maintain routines, it is easy to see that body frustration and possibly eating disorders would

result.

RQ2: The Framing of Diet and Fitness in Teen Magazines.

The results of the diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines also have an element of the ideal,

impossible-to-mimic body. Similar results to the women's magazine were found with a beauty

frame. Again, the ultimate goal is appearance and not health. In fact, teen magazines had far

fewer long-term health references, which may expand the power of the beauty rationale.

This focus on superficial looks can be broadened to the next most common frame: celebrity star-

power. A great deal of focus was put on success through fame-achievable only by a certain

look. From a marketing standpoint, celebrities probably sell more magazines. The focus here,

however, is not on placing Jessica Simpson on the front cover, but on referencing fame and the









famous and equating them to weight loss, fitness or dieting. Articles stating "Want a stomach

like Fergie's (rock singer)?" are following the exact pattern found in the women's magazines:

promising results that are probably unrealistic. These two frames could lead to body frustrations

just like the women's magazines. Although teen magazines put up a better appearance of being

more socially conscious in regard to body image (more stories addressing eating disorders, less

ads around nutrition and fitness content, no dieting content, etc.), they still have to fix the way

they frame the articles. If not, the teen magazines will continue to portray the ideal image and

risk the possibility of readers becoming frustrated with their bodies and developing eating

disorders.

On a side note, the-great-you frame focusing on confidence and body image is a redeeming

quality in the teen magazines, but like the doctor's visit frame in women's magazines, it may be

overshadowed by the larger, overall ideal-body message.

RQ3: Advertisements Adjacent to Diet and Fitness Articles

The advertising aspect was placed in the study to see if there was a conflicting message being

sent between fitness, diet text and the adjacent ads. For both teen and women's magazines, the

ideal image was reiterated. Beauty and being sexy for men (often through thinness) were framed

in both magazine genres.

For women's magazines, food was a major theme. The top ad frame was taste and the top

product being sold was food and drinks (52% of all women's ads coded). The implications-

when paired with the text that insinuates the reader should have an ideal body-is that the

readers will be tempted and persuaded by the food advertisements. This could cause overeating,

which furthers body frustration. The following two sections provide further implications of the

advertisements and how they relate to the text. However, some of these food advertisements

were for healthy food options, low-calorie orange juice, power bars and whole-grain cereals. It is









just as likely that food advertisements of this sort could actually lead to a healthier lifestyle

through the promotion of healthier foods.

The Big Picture: Women's Magazines

By looking at all three components-editorial content, advertisements, graphics-three

things can be concluded about women's magazine coverage of dieting and fitness. First, the ideal

is beauty and excessive thinness. Stereotypical thin models were the most frequent graphic in the

articles, and a beauty frame was found in both the editorial content and the content of the

advertisements. Second, the look seen in the photos is perceived to be obtainable through fast-

and-easy means (editorial content) and healthy food products (graphics and advertisements).

Third, having an undesirable weight or look leads to bad things (the editorial content's

sinister/scary frame). Therefore, what this study concludes about women's coverage of diet and

fitness coverage is consistent with what the literature review showed. The magazines portray an

unrealistic image that is supposedly fast-and-easy to obtain, but then magazine advertisers tempt

readers with fatty foods (the magazines' second most advertised product). The reader is exposed

to an ideal image, promised that such a body can be attained and subjected to an influx of food

ads.

The Big Picture: Teen Magazines

The overall focus of diet and fitness coverage in teen magazines does not seem to be too

far from its adult counterpart. The overall message is of making oneself look better through

superficial means. The top two products sold through the ads are beauty products and fashion,

while beauty and celebrities frames are also frequent in the editorial content. (However, one

might argue, that these are the things teens are interested in and not things that are pushed on

teens through magazines). As for the main graphics, they include pretty, excessively thin models

and celebrities. What does all this say? Looking like the models or celebrities is an obvious goal









for the reader. This creates the impossible-to-mimic ideal image discussed in the literature

review.

However, unlike women's magazines, food advertisements play almost no role. A few

sugary drink ads and a couple of gum ads were about all of the food products that were found

next to diet and fitness coverage. One interesting aspect, though, was the amount of food

pictured in the editorial graphics. The number one graphic in teen diet and fitness coverage was

junk and fast food. This was an especially intriguing point in editorial photos showing celebrities

and fashion models-who had the ideal image-stuffing their mouths with fatty foods. This

creates the same lose-weight-to-look-good but eat-fatty-foods dilemma found in women's

magazines.

Theory

Framing Theory

The main theory used in this study was framing, which is defined as "a number of thematically

related attributes related to a topic or news event that affects the pictures in our heads relating to

that topic or event" (Zoch, 2001, p. 196). In other words, how we perceive an issue or event is

shaped by the wording, phrasing, metaphors, exemplars, etc. that the readers are exposed to

through the context.

Although people learn about diet and fitness from a broad array of sources, magazines are

the top source for dietary supplement and nutrition information (Kava et. al, 2002). So in the

case of this study, how we picture diet and fitness in our heads is greatly shaped by how the

content is written in the women's and teen magazines. Therefore, teen and women's magazine

readers perceive diet and fitness to be (1) all about beauty and obtaining the ideal image, (2)

critical of people who do not match the ideal look, and (3) somewhat concerned with long-term

health or inner strength/confidence.









Since this follows much of the previous research recorded in the literature review (which

were done through other methodologies and used other theories), it is safe to say that this study

upholds framing theory.

Social-Comparison Theory

Social comparison theory was used for the graphical components of the study. This theory

dictates that individuals compare themselves to the images they see (either as similar or

dissimilar to themselves) in the media. Usually with magazine images-which often consist of

thin, ideal model bodies-this means an upward comparison of physical appearances leaving the

individual doing the comparing feeling inferior. For instance, in this study, teen magazines

frequently used photographs of beautiful, thin celebrities. Because teens often use fashion

magazines for "the purposes of self-evaluation and self-improvement," photographs of

celebrities act as an important comparison group (Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002, p.15). This

could lead the individual to feel that their bodies are not adequate because they do not match the

bodies of the celebrities. Ultimately, upward social comparison could lead to body dissatisfaction

and even pathological weight control practices.

Overall, women's and teen magazines promote an upward comparison, frequently using

photographs of thin models and celebrities. When pairing these aspects of the social comparison

theory to the framing theory results (text promoting an ideal body), the result is scary. The text

paints a picture of a need for beauty, while the photographs let readers compare themselves to

the ideal. Certainly magazines cannot be concerned about their readers developing eating

disorders.

Conclusion

Overall, the frames were different: teen magazines offered more inner and outer struggles

and women's magazines revealed more of the go-and-do-it focus. The advertisements revealed a









message of self indulgence and looks-sexuality, fun, romance and beauty in teen ads, and taste,

feeling good, sex and beauty in women's ads. The overall message for the two genres, however,

was very much the same: You can obtain this ideal image, but you should indulge in food, too.

This could lead to body frustrations and does little to remedy the problem of eating disorders.

Lastly, very few of the stories, graphics and advertisements addressed the obesity epidemic or

lack of physical activity.

Additional Research and Suggestions for Magazine Editors

One problem with the study's methodology was using women's magazines that were not

more alike. Cosmopolitan, for instance, seemed to target a younger, college-aged market than

Redbook, and Self had a more fitness feel to it than the fashion-centered Glamour. This caused

some disparity in the frames. Some titles contained more of one frame, while others had more of

another. A better procedure-for women's magazines-would have been not just to look at

circulation but also the target age of the audience. It would be more interesting, perhaps, to look

at magazines with readers about the age of a teenage-girl's mother.

This topic would also be a great starting point for a meta-analysis project, where data from

several previous studies would be compiled to reach new conclusions. The information on

editorial content, advertisements and graphics used in magazines is so expansive that it is

difficult to research it all. However, by taking bits and parts of previous research, one may be

able to get the complete picture of diet and fitness coverage in magazines that this study

attempted to find. It may also be beneficial to look at men's magazines and see how they frame

diet and fitness.

Recommendations for magazine editors include: 1. Educate magazine reporters on the

framing theory and on the diet and fitness frames found in this study, 2. Educate the writers

about the impacts of dieting content and eating disorders, 3. Reduce the number of photographs









of excessively thin models in the editorial content sections, and 4. Generate new topics and

angles for covering diet and fitness that focus less on empty promises and more on practical

solutions.











Table 5-1. List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in teen magazines.
Frequency a similar frame
Frequency of articles frame was
Frame o was found in women's
found () magazines (%)
The quest for beauty 48 30
Celebrity star power 38 22
The great you 38 05
Eating disorders 27 02


Table 5-2. List of top frames for diet and fitness editorial coverage in women's magazines.
Frequency a similar frame
Frequency of articles frame was un a simil f
Styles was found in teen
found( o) _magazines (%)
Fast-and-easy cheer 77 11
Quest for beauty 30 48
Doctor's Visit 17 20
Sinister/Scary 13 16

Table 5-3. List of top advertisement frames for teen magazines.
Frequency a similar frame
Frequency of ads frame was found Frequency a similar frame
Dominate ad frame N% was found in teen editorial
(0) content (%)
Sexy temptress 13 0
Beauty 12 48
Fun 12 3.8
Romance 11 14


Table 5-4. List of top frames advertisement frames for women's magazines.
Frequency a similar frame
Frequency of ads frame was found Frequency a similar frame
Ad frame (N) was found in editorial
women's content (%)
Taste 33 0.8
Beauty 30 30
Feeling good/good life 28 6.5
Sex/romance 20 3.3









APPENDIX
COPY OF CODE SHEET AND DIRECTIONS USED FOR STUDY

ITEM ID #
1. Magazine name:

2. Date /
Month/Year

3. Page numbers)

4. Section (if applicable)

5. Mentioned on the cover?

5a. Is it the largest headline on the cover?

Y N

6. Approximate length of article (in inches)

7. Story type (circle one)
Feature
Brief
Letter from reader
Q&A
Other
8. Types of graphics (circle all that apply and give brief description)
Photograph(s)


Graph
Illustration
Pull Quote
Other

9. Headline

10. Sub-head (if any)


11. Lead (main points)


12. Main topic









13. Secondary topic


14. Sources


15. Products advertised next to article

16. Describe graphics of ad

17. Describe message of the ad's text

18. Framing analysis coding on photocopied article
Coding guidelines. The following is a list of guidelines used when coding each magazine

article. The idea was to make sure all articles were coded using the same rules.

Identifier: Magazine ID number number to represent one magazine number to represent
article in magazine. Example: 1-01-01
1. Magazine name: Elle Girl, Teen People, CosmoGirl!, Seventeen, Teen Vogue, Redbook,
Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Allure, Self
2. Date of publication
3. Page numberss: pages where article is found
4. Section (if applicable): department name
5. Mentioned on the cover: Is the article listed on the cover
a. Is it the largest headline on the cover: Is it noticeably the dominate headline with
the largest text/font.
6. Approximate length of article (in pages): Count the pages of the article including pages
with graphics. For pages with a portion of ads and a portion of text, estimate the portion
of text (one-third, one-half).
7. Story type: circle the type of story. Feature articles are non-department stories that are
one page or longer. Briefs are less than one page and are often in a magazine department.
8. Graphics: circle all that apply and briefly describe.
9. Headline: Write the main headline
10. Subhead: Write any sub-headline if applicable
11. Lead: write the main points of the first few graphs (or the opening of the story).
12. Main topic: This is the primary focus of the article. Whichever topic has the most
paragraphs devoted to it, is probably the main topic.
13. Secondary topics: List any other topics that the article covers, but that aren't the main
topic.
14. Sources: list any people that are quoted or paraphrased in the story. List the person with
his or her title only once (even if they are used throughout the story).
15. Products advertised next to articles: list the products in the advertisements one page
before, one page after and all the ads in between an article.
16. Ad graphics: list each graphic found in an ad and briefly describe.
17. Ad text: describe briefly what the ad is saying. List any frames.









18. Framing analysis coding on photocopied article: Read the article in its entirety and then
go back and reread the article. During this second reading, code for the frame. The
framing techniques should include the following:
a. Mark words and phrases that are repeated or that have common themes. "Costs,"
"increased taxes" and feasiblyy unsound" could be seen as words with a common
theme. Make sure to cover all text, including the headline, subhead and any
graphics.
b. How are the sources used? Are they presented in a credible manner? Do some
sources that present one side of the argument tend to be seen as deviant (or
outside the norm)? Are any sources left out?
c. What is the overall tone of the story? Does it report on a grand mission or does it
focus more on the financial issues? Visual images, metaphors and symbols all
may contribute to this.
d. Are there any significant points left out? Are any downplayed?









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Banana Boat sunless tanner. (June/July 2005). Teen Vogue, 41.

Bloomingdales. (June/July 2005). Teen Vogue, 74.

Dessert Treats by Jessica Simpson. (October 2005). CosmoGirl!, 61.

Elizabeth Arden. (October 2005). Glamour, 131.

Estee Lauder. (October 2005). Teen Vogue, 51.

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Kashi. (April 2005). Self, 114-115.









Milk. (February 2005). Elle Girl. 121.

Nicorette. (November 2005). Glamour, 96.

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Red Hot footwear. (October 2005). Teen People, 33.

Reeboks. (April 2005). Self, 127.

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Ritz crackers. (November 2005). Redbook, 183.

Ritz sticks. (June 2005). Redbook, 201.

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Yasmin. (August 2005). Self, 68-6.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Sarah Wood graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in journalism at the

University of Florida in May 2005. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Mass

Communications also at UF and in December 2006. Her work in journalism comprises of several

internships including ones with Time Inc., The Gainesville Sun, Ocala Star-Banner, The Daily

Commercial and INsite magazine. She has also held leadership roles-president and vice

president-with the university chapter of Society of Professional Journalists. She hopes to use

these experiences to become a news reporter.