An analysis of cardiovascular health information in popular young women's magazines: What messages are women receiving?

Melanie B. Turner, Amanda M. Vader, Scott T. Walters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose. This study evaluated the consistency of cardiovascular health information in popular women's magazines against the American Heart Association's (AHA) guidelines for nutrition, physical activity, weight management, and smoking. Design. Six issues of four publications, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Vogue, and Shape (24 total) were reviewed for inclusion. Setting. Content analysis was performed by two independent raters on 162 articles (283 instances of priority-related information). Measures. Articles were rated using a questionnaire developed from the AHA-recommended priorities. Analyns. Results are presented primarily in qualitative form, supplemented by analyses of variance and correlation significance tests when appropriate. Results. Physical activity was the most common topic, followed by nutrition, weight management, and cigarette smoking. Information about weight management was less consistent than other areas. Although publications varied widely in the frequency of coverage, there was no significant difference among them in overall consistency of the information. No articles gave information directly contrary to the AHA recommendations. Limitations include the subjective nature of the content analysis and the limited number of publications and time period for review. Conclusion. Women are receiving information related to diet, exercise, weight management, and cigarette smoking in popular magazines. However, the information is variable to the extent that it is consistent with evidence-based prevention guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Promotion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Content analysis
  • Mass media
  • Prevention research
  • Women


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