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Television serves as an important source of health information for many individuals. Surveys find entertainment television to be among the top three sources of health information, with a majority of people considering health information disseminated via television to be accurate. Media scholars frequently talk about the power of television in influencing people's health attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Specifically, television is argued to be a socializing agent in that viewers often learn about health behavior norms via observation of TV characters and portrayals of different health decision-making situations. Given the prominent role that television plays in how people obtain health information and its impact on their health perceptions and behaviors, it is imperative to understand how health is discussed on television. Research in the area ...

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