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Forum on The “Reality” of Health: Reality Television and the Public Health

Forum on The “Reality” of Health: Reality Television and the Public Health

The Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a forum to examine the implications of reality TV serving as a health information resource. The forum, The “Reality” of Health: Reality Television and the Public Health, featured a senior executive from Discovery Health Channel and FitTV, the host of the first season of reality TV’s “Honey We’re Killing the Kids,” and leading researchers and authors on youth as well as media.

The participants discussed the types of health information reality TV shows communicate, their responsibilities to provide accurate health information, and the potential impact on viewers. The session also explored the potential for public health organizations to work collaboratively with reality TV shows.

A discussion paper prepared by Lewis and Clark College communications professor Peter Christenson and American University communications assistant professor Maria Ivancin helped facilitate the dialogue, and explored common health-related themes in reality shows, as well as possible implications for viewers.

The forum was held on Wednesday, October 18, 2006, in Washington, D.C.

icon_reports_studies.gifReport — The “Reality” of Health: Reality Television and the Public Health

icon_reports_studies.gifAgenda (.pdf)

icon_reports_studies.gifSpeaker Biographies (.pdf)

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