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Byrd-Bredbenner and Grasso – A Comparative Analysis of Television Food Advertisements

Byrd-Bredbenner, Carol, and Darlene Grasso. “A Comparative Analysis of Television Food Advertisements and Current Dietary Recommendations. (Cover story).” American Journal of Health Studies 15, no. 4 (September 1999): 169-180.

Keywords: food advertisements, mass media, United States

Authors Darlene Grasso and Carol Byrd-Bredbenner are renowned writers who both have published several articles in the American Journal of Health Studies. Their research has been verified by many other experts who also contributed quotes to the text. Grasso and Byrd-Bredbenner wrote the article, “A Comparactive Analysis of Television Food Advertisements and Current Dietary Recommedations”. They coded the different appearances of food on based on the situations and the type of food that displayed. Then they went through the dietary regulations at the time, and abstracted the different requirements for each food group.
Though the article is relatively old, I thought it was important to show that research was being done about mass media discourse and food/obesity even 12 years ago. The two authors have written similar articles more recently and have been published in other journals such as Nutrition and Dietetics and Nutrition Research. They concluded that primetime television boasts foods that are high in fat, calories and sodium, and low in fiber, which is the polar opposite of what the food pyramid suggests. While they came to this conclusion through their research, the left the question of whether this impacted the viewers dietary choices unanswered.


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