Did you catch the latest E! True Hollywood Story this past weekend on health education and public health in America? …no? Okay well yeah it didn’t happen BUT wouldn’t that have been interesting? Among all the scandals, celebrities gone wild and famous crimes that get profiled on that show and on television in general – what do you think would happen if topics in health were shown?

Mainstream media is a powerful (albeit, changing due to the Web) force in the minds of the general population. Despite the often sensationalized news and recycled excitement of reality shows, people still tune into the television and get a “network sponsored education”. And we can’t forget about those people who still don’t log onto the Internet! Obviously the main reason people turn on the tube is to get entertained but every now and then, there are nuggets of value. How can the genuine health industry relay credible and helpful information to the general public through this venue?

In recent news, Oprah Winfrey revealed her battle with a thyroid condition that has caused her to gain weight and have problems with sleeping. Now, anyone who has heard of Oprah knows the amount of power that she wields in informing her niche demographic (91% women, average age of 45 – according to website viewers) and the great amount of attention to anything that appears on her show. Thanks to her public announcement, thyroid conditions have gained immeasurable publicity. According to Amy over at Diabetes Mine, thyroid disorders occur commonly in people with diabetes and especially with women (great for the target audience!).

I think there’s still merit in health promotion on television, stay tuned as I explore this topic some more…

High profile celebrities + television + health education/promotion = worthy cause?

—Helpful Links—

http://www.concernedjournalists.org/node/72
http://health.discovery.com/
http://www.oprah.com/adsales/audience.html
http://www.oprah.com/health/yourbody/slide/20071016/slide_yourbody_northrup_101.jhtml
http://www.eifoundation.org/

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