Obesity epidemic linked to widescreen televisions

Posted by Matthew on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @11:16PM

from the monkey-see-monkey-do dept.


matthew writes: The obesity epidemics in Japan and America have been statistically linked to the sell-through of wide-screen televisions. Designed for the 16:9 aspect ratio of High Definition television, but typically used with the 4:3 aspect ratio of typical NTSC broadcast TV, researchers have found that the wide screen televisions have modified the typical consumer’s body image expectations.

Dr. Yoshitaka Takahashi explains.

“Because most consumers don’t want to miss any portion of the television show, and don’t want to see black bars on the side of their television, they use the stretch mode to display regular television across the entire panel.”

“This has a dramatic affect on the westerner’s programmed body image: The wide screen stretching makes actors look about 50 lbs. heavier than they actually are by broadening their torso, hips, legs, and facial features. After watching these ‘heavyset’ actors for a few years, consumers see additional weight as normal and desirable. They attempt to match the image in the mirror to the stretched image on the Television.”

“The solution is quite obvious: Rotate the panel on it’s side and stretch the image to fit. Five years from now, Kate Moss will look fat.”

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