On October 18th, CMCH Staff Scientist Dr. David Bickham spoke at the Kaiser Family Foundation forum titled "The Reality of Health: Reality Television and Public Health."  The report by Christenson and Ivancin concludes that there are two sides to health behavior portrayed on reality television:

Positive results include:

  • generating awareness about common health issues
  • stimulating research or funding for less common health issues
  • educating the public about medical procedures and advances
  • offering useful role models for interacting with health providers
  • providing inspiration and motivation through offering portrayals of people that viewers can identify with

Negative consequences include:

  • providing inaccurate or unhealthy information to viewers
  • fostering unrealistic expectations for health behavior and situations (weight loss, plastic surgery, etc)
  • offering social norms of a world filled with sexual situations, focused on physical attractiveness, and dominated by competition

Watch the webcast of the meeting with Windows Media Player

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