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Viewers who watch reality beauty television are more likely to go tanning

Study finds higher percentage between watching certain shows and wanting to be tan.

By Kim Anne Feb 8, 2013 11:05PM
Eden Studio Photo/Getty Images


Does watching certain TV shows reveal whether or not you frequent the tanning bed? Maybe. A new study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology finds that individuals who watch reality beauty TV (shows like America’s Next Top Model, for example) are more likely to visit tanning beds and lay in the sun.

The study surveyed 576 college students in their early 20’s, reports Reuters Health. 61 percent of those students confirmed they watch reality TV beauty shows—and of that 61 percent, 13 percent say they had used a tanning bed in the last year and 43 percent had tanned outdoors for more than two hours at a time. When you compare those results to the fact that less than four percent of non-reality beauty TV watchers hit the tanning bed and 43 percent had tanned outside for more than two hours, leading researchers to believe that those types of shows encourage unhealthy views on tanning.

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"TV shows might not realize the message they're (promoting) by having all of these attractive, tanned people," study co-author Joshua Fogel, a health policy researcher at Brooklyn College, part of the City University of New York system,” told Reuters. "It's very clear that people who are watching (these shows) view this as something positive to do," he said. "The alternative possibility is the people who are tanned in the first place like watching these shows," he added, perhaps because the characters look more like them.

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Tell us: Do you think reality beauty TV could be contributing to unhealthy views on being tan?

Bing: How reality TV affects society

Photo: Eden Studio Photo/Getty Images

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