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 in May-June 2012 with a nationally representative sample in which participants were randomized to view one of three messages of children recounting struggles with obesity, or to a control group. Researchers found that participants who viewed the messages attributed greater responsibility for addressing obesity to factors outside the home, including the food and beverage industry, schools, and government, compared to those in the control group. However, participants in both experimental and control groups attributed more responsibility for addressing obesity to parents and obese children than to either government or the food and beverage industry. Overweight and female respondents who viewed the messages reported lower weight-based stigma attitudes compared to the control group, but the messages had no effects on healthy weight and male respondents. The messages did not affect respondent attitudes about the seriousness of childhood obesity, its consequences, or support for obesity prevention policies.
Published: February 2014
ID #: 68051
Journal: Obesity (Silver Spring)
Authors: Barry CL, Gollust SE, McGinty EE, Niederdeppe J
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