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Effects of TV screen size on consumption and body dissatisfaction

By D.J. Anschutz, T. van Strien, E.S. Becker and R.C.M.E. Engels


Research Question: Previous research showed that exposure to pictures with slim women predicted higher levels of body dissatisfaction compared to pictures with normal weight women. The present study investigated experimentally whether these findings could be expanded to television, by comparing exposure to normal screen size (4:3) with broad-screen size (16:9), using a 30-minutes movie clip containing slim women. Actual food intake of crisps and M&M’s during watching the movie and body dissatisfaction were assessed. We hypothesized that participants in the broad-screen condition would have higher levels of food intake and lower levels of body dissatisfaction. Additionally, we were interested in the moderating effect of restrained eating. Method: Participants were 104 normal weight female students. A 2 (screen size) X 2 (restraint) factorial design was used. Results: An interaction effect was found between screen size and restraint on food intake; restrained eaters ate less in the broad-screen condition compared to the normal-screen condition, whereas unrestrained eaters ate more in the broad-screen condition. Furthermore, an interaction effect was found between screen size and restraint on body dissatisfaction; restrained eaters felt more dissatisfied with their bodies in the broad-screen condition, whereas unrestrained eaters felt less dissatisfied in the broad-screen condition, compared to the normal-screen condition. Conclusion: These results suggest that the influence of the body size of media images on food intake and body dissatisfaction differs between restrained and unrestrained eaters

Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1080/17437190701472504
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Provided by: NARCIS
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