Celebrity-politicians as health promoting role models: A case study of cigarettes and gym workouts on Facebook
Keywords:audiences, Facebook, health, politicians, role models
In this exploratory study we examine the hypothesis that health-promoting politician role-models positively influence an individual’s personal health habits. By examining the Facebook comments of individuals exposed to health-promoting personal accounts of politicians, we examine whether these individuals regard these politicians as role models in the context of health. This is done regardless of how they view these politicians from a political point of view. The importance of this study derives from its intent to examine for the first time, whether there is evidence that individuals are influenced by politicians and their mediated depictions in the context of health. Furthermore, we try to understand whether gender plays a role in this social learning. Results indicate that individuals regard politicians as role models in the context of health. Furthermore, results indicate that women are more likely than men to express their will to imitate health promoting behaviors of both female and male politicians. Thus, this study sheds light for the first time on the phenomenon of politicians’ health-promoting mediated depictions and their importance to an individual’s health.
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