Published: May 2013

ID #: 68051

Journal: Health Commun

Authors: Jarlenski M, Barry CL

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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.

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