Communicating the Obesity Crisis: The Role of Public Relations and the Media in Framing a National Health Issue
Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Rogan Kersh, Ph.D.
Brenda Wrigley, Ph.D.
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
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.
Jaindl, Kimberly, "Communicating the Obesity Crisis: The Role of Public Relations and the Media in Framing a National Health Issue" (2005). Honors Capstone Projects - All. 688.
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