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A true answer to this question would require a comprehensive survey of Americans. Anything other than that is speculation based on anecdotal evidence. My own speculation based on anecdotal evidence is that we surely are not influenced very strongly by the media. If we were influenced, we would probably be healthier and have less obesity in the United States today.
For the past couple of decades or so, we have been facing an epidemic of obesity in this country. At the same time, we see a lot of talk in the media about how we can combat obesity and how we can become healthier. We are always seeing newspaper and magazine articles about health and fitness and we see many things about this on television as well. If these things had much of an impact on us, it seems likely that we would have changed our ways and become more fit. We are told over and over what we need to do. At the same time, the evidence of our continuing obesity suggests that we are not doing as we have been told. This implies that the media has little impact on our behavioral choices.
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