News Media Coverage of Trans Fat: Health Risks and Policy Responses
This study analyzed news media coverage of trans fat in the U.S. food supply in the two largest circulation U.S. newspapers and three major television networks from 1998 to 2008. Using content analysis methods, researchers examined the agenda-setting and framing functions of the news media in shaping perceptions about the health risks of trans fat. Researchers found evidence of agenda-setting by the news media in highlighting the characteristics and health risks of trans fat and in framing trans fat as a public health problem. Three-quarters of news stories mentioned at least one specific disease linked to trans fat consumption, and almost all news stories (92%) discussed at least one governmental or food industry response to address the health risks of trans fat.
This study investigated how public attitudes toward the role of parents in the obesity epidemic might influence support for various obesity reduction strategies. Researchers analyzed data from two national public opinion surveys from 2011 and 2012 to examine attributions of blame and responsibility to parents for obesity, both among the … More
This paper examines how three video messages featured in the Strong4Life campaign affected public attitudes about: 1) the problem of obesity and its consequences; 2) who in society is responsible for addressing the problem; 3) support for obesity prevention policies; and 4) weight-based stigma. Researchers conducted a web-based survey experiment … More
This paper examines the effects of messages describing consequences of childhood obesity on Americans’ attitudes about obesity prevention policy and compares these attitudes by political ideology (conservative, moderate, and liberal). Using data from two nationally representative internet-based surveys with adult participants, researchers found that respondents considered several consequences of childhood … More
This paper discusses the results of a study which analyzed the images of overweight and obese individuals in Time and Newsweek magazine coverage over a 25-year period (1984-2009), comparing the depictions with the actual national prevalence of obesity within key populations of interest during the same period. Researchers found that … More
This article assesses how the news media framed the causes of childhood obesity and potential solutions to the problem over a ten-year period (2000-2009). Researchers found that by 2003, childhood obesity was on the news media’s agenda and remained so until 2007, after which coverage decreased. Overall, news stories were … More
Through this research, investigators will develop and test experimental methods for increasing public support for policies regulating food marketing to children. The significance of this project lies in its potential for identifying persuasive appeals (referred to as message frames) to enhance public support for childhood obesity prevention policies. Examples of … More