Communication ETDs

Publication Date



In this study, the medium of documentary film is explored as a potential health-promotion tool. Food documentaries have become more popular recently, and the public's awareness of food-related health issues is growing. By analyzing different approaches to documentary films about food, I unpack the many functions and social perceptions of food with regard to health. Using fantasy-theme analysis, I explore the visions of the filmmakers of three food documentaries and the health-promotion strategies employed within them. Three different approaches to motivating health-behavior change emerged from the documentaries--contention, collaboration, and consultation. Each documentary employed a different well-established and effective health-behavior change model. The findings of this study have implications for positioning entertaining sources of health information that are not typically used for health promotion practices as important and useful tools for health information dissemination, increasing knowledge and awareness of food and health issues, and promoting positive health-behavior change.




food documentaries, health communication

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Advisor

Foss, Karen

Second Advisor

Nodulman, Jessica

First Committee Member (Chair)

Littlejohn, Stephen

Second Committee Member

White, Judith

Third Committee Member

Robinson, James