WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies

Thought Bullets
September 2003

Body Size Portrayal and Television

The Rudd Institute funded a research project to look at how different body types are portrayed on television. The study looked at 1018 major television characters on the 10 top-rated fictional series for the networks of ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, UPN and WB during the 1999-2000 season. At least five episodes were analyzed for each series. Researchers measured the body type of major characters by examining their silhouettes. Results of the study appeared in the August 2003 issue of the American Journal of Public Health. I want to thank Carol Peterson, from the Wyoming Department of Health, for sending me the article.

Dotings R. Overweight TV characters have image problem. HealthDay. August 11, 2003. Available at Accessed August 15, 2003.

Greenberg BS, Eastin M, Hofschire L, Lachlan K, and Brownell KD. Portrayals of overweight and obese individuals on commercial television. American Journal of Public Health. 2003;93: 1342-1348.

The Rudd Institute. Available at Accessed August 15, 2003.

Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD

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