Abstract In order to investigate the attitudes toward weight control expressed in popular magazines, we assigned 66 articles from 34 issues of 22 contemporary magazines to 3 nutritionists and 16 laypersons for evaluation with a specially developed instrument. Our judges viewed the articles as fairly accurate, optimistic, supportive, and sympathetic. They scored the task of maintaining ideal weight as represented as moderately difficult and requiring a largely chronic effort. The judges reported that the articles conveyed diet, will power, and behavioral modification as most important in weight control, closely followed by self-understanding. Only minor differences emerged between the ratings of professional and lay judges. Home service and fashion magazines tended to convey slightly different emphases on some concepts, but in most cases no significant differences emerged. However, wide variability even within types of magazines emphasize the need to evaluate individually the weight control articles in popular magazines.