Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2005

Capstone Advisor

Rogan Kersh, Ph.D.

Honors Reader

Brenda Wrigley, Ph.D.

Capstone Major

Public Relations

Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories

Social Sciences

Subject Categories

Public Relations and Advertising


Communication of obesity as a public health issue has taken many forms and been framed in a variety of ways since early 2000. These communications often frame the public’s perception of the problem and of potential solutions. This study examines the current perceptions and actions according to several groups, including the government, the food industry, individuals, the media, and public relations professionals. It then attempts to assess the framing of the issue, including perceptions and actions, by the print media and public relations professionals. A census of newspaper articles and press releases from a one-month time period in late 2004 were collected and analyzed to answer two questions: (a) How are each of the groups – newspapers and PR professionals – framing the issue? and (b) What are the implications of the current framing strategies? The study found evidence of framing according to a blame-and-responsibility scheme, and reactions that attempt to sway blame from one party to another.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.