Reality TV shows depicting people undergoing cosmetic surgery do have a noticeable influence on viewers, a new study has found.
Much debate has surrounded the shows, with critics suggesting that consumers may be convinced to undergo procedures that they do not need.
The latest study, which is the first to generate data on how TV shows affect potential patients, examined 42 cosmetic surgery patients, 57 per cent of whom were considered to be high-intensity viewers of shows on cosmetic procedures.
Four out of five people claimed that television had directly influenced them to have cosmetic surgery.
In general, patients who watched many TV shows claimed to be more knowledgeable about cosmetic surgery and were more likely to believe reality TV shows to be akin to real life than low-intensity viewers.
Dr John Persing, co-author of the study in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons' journal, commented: "The majority of patients reported being directly influenced and, interestingly, ethnicity also played a role in how frequently these shows were watched and how they influenced patients."
He added: "It is unfortunate that patients are turning toward the entertainment industry for educational information, we had hoped for different results."