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Vol. 53. Issue 199.
Pages 113-122 (July - September 2018)
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Vol. 53. Issue 199.
Pages 113-122 (July - September 2018)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.apunts.2017.06.002
Quality of recommendations on health-enhancing physical activity in the press. Content analysis of five Spanish newspapers
Calidad de las recomendaciones sobre actividad física saludable en la prensa. Análisis del contenido de cinco periódicos españoles
Juanjo Garcia-Gila,b,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Sergi Cortiñas-Rovirac
a Fundació Tecnocampus Mataró-Maresme – Health Sciences School, Avinguda Ernest Lluch, 32 08302 Mataró, Spain
b University Pompeu Fabra – Department of Communication – GRECC (Grup de Recerca en Comunicació Científica), Carrer de Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
c Head of Research Group, University Pompeu Fabra – Department of Communication – GRECC (Grup de Recerca en Comunicació Científica), Carrer de Roc Boronat, 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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Figures (1)
Tables (5)
Table 1. Analyzed variables.
Table 2. Quality scores (0-10) and distribution of frequencies of the sample (n=100).
Table 3. Percentage of satisfaction of quality variables.
Table 4. Characteristics of the themes in the sample (n=100).
Table 5. Comparison of scientific quality with prior studies (percentage of criteria satisfaction for each variable).
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The pandemic of physical inactivity causes millions of early deaths globally. However, inactivity can be reversed if more and better information is made available. While the number of news stories on health and health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) has increased globally and also in Spain, various studies show that the quality of these articles is often questionable.


Content analysis was used to analyze twelve quality variables from the scientific and media perspectives and five variables about the themes in news stories on HEPA published in five Spanish general-interest newspapers in the years 2013 and 2014: El País; El Mundo; La Vanguardia; ABC; and El Periódico.


The average score of quality of news stories (n=100) is 6.3 (s=1.9) on a scale from 0 to 10. The percentages of satisfactory quality variables are: medicalization (96%); objectivity (94%); sources (80%); context (62%); credibility (61%); availability (54%); novelty (52%); truthfulness (43%); alternatives (26%); emotion (20%); accessible language (19%); and magnitude (19%).


The average quality of the newspaper articles on HEPA is intermediate. Further work is required, particularly regarding the following variables: alternatives; emotion; accessible language; and magnitude. Suggestions to improve journalistic practice and scientific dissemination (sources) are accordingly included.

Health promotion
Public health
Life style
Health literacy
Mass media

La inactividad física es una pandemia que provoca mundialmente millones de muertes prematuras, pero es un hábito que puede modificarse aumentando la cantidad y la calidad de la información disponible. En España y en el mundo, las noticias publicadas en los periódicos sobre salud y actividad física saludable (AFS) han aumentado, pero su calidad es cuestionable, según muestran varios estudios.


Se utiliza la técnica de análisis del contenido para analizar 12 variables de calidad desde las perspectivas comunicativa y científica en noticias sobre AFS publicadas en los periódicos generalistas con mayor difusión en España (2013-2014): El País, El Mundo, La Vanguardia, ABC y El Periódico.


La calidad de las noticias (n=100) obtiene una nota media de 6,3 puntos (s=1,9) en una escala de 0 a 10. Las variables satisfacen heterogéneamente la calidad; de mayor a menor: medicalización (96%); objetividad (94%); fuentes (80%); contexto (62%); credibilidad (61%); disponibilidad (54%); novedad (52%); veracidad (43%); alternativas (26%); emoción (20%); lenguaje divulgativo (19%), y magnitud (19%).


Aunque la calidad media de las noticias sobre AFS no es baja, existe un amplio margen de mejora. Sobre todo, en algunas de las variables analizadas para las que se aportan unas recomendaciones para la práctica periodística y para las fuentes de información científicas y profesionales.

Palabras clave:
Promoción de la salud
Salud pública
Estilo de vida
Alfabetización de la salud
Medios de comunicación


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