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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2014, Article ID 954784, 10 pages
Research Article

The Influence of Antiobesity Media Content on Intention to Eat Healthily and Exercise: A Test of the Ordered Protection Motivation Theory

1Department of English, Iowa State University, 317 Carver Hall, Ames, IA 50011-2060, USA
2Agricultural Communications Program, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 274 Bevier Hall, 905 South Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Received 2 June 2014; Revised 20 October 2014; Accepted 30 October 2014; Published 19 November 2014

Academic Editor: Mark A. Pereira

Copyright © 2014 Raeann Ritland and Lulu Rodriguez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study extended the ordered protection motivation framework to determine whether exposure and attention to antiobesity media content increases people’s appraisals of threat and their ability to cope with it. It also assesses whether these cognitive processes, in turn, affected people’s intention to abide by the practices recommended to prevent obesity. The results of a national online survey using a nonprobability sample indicate that attention to mediated obesity and related information significantly increased people’s intention to exercise as well as their overall coping appraisals (the perceived effectiveness of the recommended behaviors and their ability to perform them). Likewise, increased threat and coping appraisals were both found to significantly influence people’s intention to exercise and diet. Coping (rather than threat) appraisals more strongly predicted behavioral intent. Following the attitude-behavior literature, behavioral intention was used as the most proximate predictor of actual behavior (i.e., stronger intentions increase the likelihood of behavior change).