The prime time diet: a content analysis of eating behavior and food messages in television program content and commercials

Am J Public Health. 1990 Jun;80(6):738-40. doi: 10.2105/ajph.80.6.738.


The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze messages related to food and eating behavior as presented on prime time television (8:00-11:00 pm) both in programming and commercials. Food references occurred an average of 4.8 times per 30 minutes of programming time. Over half (60 percent) of all food references in programs were for low nutrient beverages and sweets. The prime time diet is inconsistent with dietary guidelines for healthy Americans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Television*