Health behaviors, particularly physical activity, may promote cognitive health. The public agenda for health behaviors is influenced by popular media. We analyzed the cognitive health content of 20 United States magazines, examining every page of every 2006-2007 issue of the highest circulating magazines for general audiences, women, men, African Americans, and the health conscious (n = 178). Diet was the greatest focus. Physical activity coverage was limited. Important behavior-related cognitive health risks, including hypertension and diabetes, were not mentioned. Publications for African Americans had little cognitive health content. Coverage of cognitive health was not commensurate with growing evidence that health behaviors may help to maintain it. Findings may be useful to public health officials, health care providers, non-profit organizations that promote cognitive health, individuals evaluating cognitive health information in popular media, and those responsible for magazines or other media.
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