November 30, 2022

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Than a Food Fitter

Reality shows like Love Island drive young fans to drink, smoke and eat more junk food, experts warn

2 min read

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REALITY TV drives people to drink and smoke more, experts say.

Shows including Towie, Geordie Shore, Love Island and Made in Chelsea show so much boozing, smoking and eating junk food that it influences young fans.

Reality shows like Love Island drive young fans to drink, smoke and eat more junk food, experts say

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Reality shows like Love Island drive young fans to drink, smoke and eat more junk food, experts sayCredit: ITV

A Nottingham Trent University study found alcohol was guzzled in 39 per cent of scenes and 98 per cent of episodes of 20 popular shows from the UK, US and Australia.

Fatty food or takeaways appeared in 88 per cent of episodes and cigs were in two per cent.

Psychologist Dr Alex Barker said: “When young people see this content they’re likely to imitate the behaviour, especially because the people are highly influential.

“There is some evidence to show that adults are affected by these programmes as well.”

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He added: “These programmes are popular with young people despite not being made for them – they can be watched at any time.

“We know that drinking alcohol has negative health effects and so does food high in fat, sugar and salt.

“We did a similar study a couple of years ago and there does seem to be less tobacco now, which is a good thing.”

Researchers watched 20 reality TV shows from the UK, US and Australia in 2019 and 2020 to work out how often alcohol, cigarettes or junk food appeared on screen.

They found booze was the worst offender, showing up in 5,167 scenes in 258 episodes, with lager the top tipple.

Junk food appeared in 1,752 scenes from 234 episodes while tobacco was in 227 clips from 43 episodes.

The study, published in the Journal of Public Health, warns unhealthy habits are seen by kids billions of times in popular shows.

Meanwhile, an Essex University study found up to 19 out of 20 Brits do not work out enough.

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Surveys from 275,000 19 to 65-year-olds found just 5.6 per cent do the recommended amount of muscle-strengthening exercises.

But two thirds meet guidelines for cardio such as running, swimming or cycling.

A Nottingham Trent University study found alcohol was guzzled in 39 per cent of scenes and 98 per cent of episodes of 20 popular shows from the UK, US and Australia (pictured The Only Way Is Essex)

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A Nottingham Trent University study found alcohol was guzzled in 39 per cent of scenes and 98 per cent of episodes of 20 popular shows from the UK, US and Australia (pictured The Only Way Is Essex)Credit: Rex Features



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