Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name


First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name


Third Advisor's Name



Weight loss, Reducing diets, Women's periodicals

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument to evaluate the weight reduction advice in popular women's magazines. An apparent proliferation of articles on weight reducation in the mass media and women's magazines have been critized as faddist by some professionals. Regardless of this concern, a standardized method of evaluating any diet remains noexistent.

To achieve the purpose the study was conducted in three parts: a Field Test, a Validity Study and a Reliability Study. An Article Evaluation form, which listed the negative characteristics of a faddist weight reduction article was constructed as the instrument. The characteristics were developed by reviewing various critiques of popular weight reduction regimens in the literature and selecting negative items from those critiques. The Article Evaluation was evaluated by requiring experts to rate the importance of each characteristic. Both forms were revised based on the results of the Field Test. The Validity Study was conducted by selecting 30 experts, at random, from a list of all experts who had authored or co-authored an article published in the 1979 issues in one of three professional journals in the nutrition field, and having them complete a revised Instrument Evaluation form.

The Reliability Study consisted of having three local dietitians with Master of Science degrees rate the same eight articles from popular women's magazines using the revised Article Evaluation form. The data was analyzed using the Friedman Two-way Analysis of Varience (ANOVA). The results of the Validity Study indicated that all thirteen characteristics were either somewhat or very important. Based on this, it was concluded that the instrument was valid. The results of the Reliability Study indicated that, except for one characteristic,,there was no statistically significant difference at the .10 level (df=2) in the evaluations of the raters, therefore it was concluded that the instrument was reliable.





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