Recent research has it that reality TV shows which prominently feature cosmetic surgery could be leading young people on to alter their own appearance.
Charlotte Markey of Rutgers University in New Jersey and Patrick Markey of Villanova University in Pennsylvania examined the attitudes of two groups of US viewers with an average age about 20 - one group watched a home renovation show and the other an 'extreme makeover' program.
They found that those who watched the cosmetic surgery show wanted to alter their own appearance more than the others.
According to findings published online in the journal Body Image, people who had favourable impressions of reality TV shows featuring cosmetic surgery were also more likely to have an interest in pursuing surgery.
John Flynn, Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery chief executive, said that that reality TV made people more likely to consider surgery for themselves but such shows were regarded as a double-edged sword for his industry.
"On the good side of this, they do show patients what is able to be done. Where the college does have some concerns, though, is that after looking at these reality shows, they may get a false expectation of what can be achieved," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying.
Flynn is also expressed concern regarding the trend for programs to show patients receiving multiple procedures at the one time.
"The more procedures you have done, the greater the risk for your body and the more your body has to do to cope with its injuries," he said.
Lily O'Hara, an expert in body image at the University of the Sunshine Coast, said that people with poor esteem are affected by such programs, which influence them to think the treatments would improve the way they look.
"Unfortunately, the evidence shows that this is not necessarily true and in many cases the poor body image continues even after treatment," she said.