Picturing Obesity: Analyzing the Social Epidemiology of Obesity Conveyed Through U.S. News Media Images
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 over one-third of depicted individuals were children, few (3.5%) were elderly, most (70%) were white, and they were about equally divided by gender. Over the 25-year period, there was an increased representation of non-whites among the depictions. Even with the increasing representation of non-whites over time, news media still underrepresented African Americans and Latinos. The elderly were also significantly underrepresented in news magazine images when compared to actual obesity prevalence rates.
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 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 … 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