Saturday, February 9, 2008

Are Consumer Health Magazines Really Healthy?

Working on a media ethics project, I came across this interesting article in the Columbia Journalism Review: "How Healthy Is Men’s Health? A shovelful of sugar helps the medicine go down."

According to the author of the article, one of the most popular consumer health magazines in the US, Men's Health, misses the real issues:
In short, the magazine is preoccupied with health and “lifestyle” problems a person can readily resolve. It underplays bigger threats to health that have no quick fixes. Men’s Health thus gives its readers an unbalanced picture of the threats they actually face.
The article raises the issue of the media's responsibility in providing an accurate representation of reality--and in this case, health. This, of course, is not an appealing option to the editors and publishers of this and similar magazines. They have discovered the formula to sell more than 10 million magazines a month--tips for better sex, and great abs.

Still, medical writers should know better, right? At least I hope you do.

P.S. Last summer, I also wrote about the quality of consumer health writing today.

1 comment:

sheena said...

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