Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Consumer Behavior in the Health Marketplace: A Symposium Proceedings, Ian M. Newman, Editor, Nebraska Center for Health Education & University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1976.


There has been a lot of discussion recently, in the press and elsewhere, about the need for more preventive health action on the part of the public. This concern was the basis for the Feeling Good project. The original proposal was for 26 one-hour programs to be broadcast weekly on Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS). When we were about 6 programs into the series, however, the decision was made to stop after the first 11 one-hour shows, take a two-month break to retool and return with 13 half-hour shows.

Leon Robertson talked about some of the problems with using education as a means of trying to influence people to do things we all know we are supposed to do. Most of the time, as he noted, results are rather discouraging. People do not pay much attention, or if they do pay attention and learn, they still do not do what they say they know they should do.

Education is one means of getting people to do things. Technology and legislation are two other means of making things happen. Our program did not deal with either the passage of new legislation or the enforcement of existing legislation is such areas as the use of fluoridation or seat belts. We were not involved with technology. Technological solutions to some problems are obviously going to lessen the necessity for public education. Even with technological advances, however, there will still be need for people to know about health problems and what they can do about them.

To provide a context for discussing our series, let us focus first on health education in general (Figure I). Pamphlets, radio, television, films, newspaper columns, and a variety of other things are used in health education. Television alone can be split into commercial and non -commercial.