Navigation Links
Are words weighing down the development of policy for better health?
Date:5/10/2011

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 9, 2011 Unrealistic and uninformed media portrayals of weight not only can negatively influence individual behavior, but can impact how policymakers approach issues of weight and health. The result, according to experts from the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), is a continued belief that these issues are largely a matter of personal responsibility and that little can or should be done in policy to address them.

Susan Dentzer, editor of Health Affairs, moderated a panel convened today on Capitol Hill to discuss the media's role in shaping the policy environment surrounding weight and health. Panelists discussed whether policymakers believe that weight is an individual issue or a public health problem and whether media plays a role in driving who is responsible and who should take action.

"In a time of ongoing budget tightening and confusion regarding health care coverage, we must find a way to create policies that address obesity and eating disorders, without letting our own biases get in the way," said Christine Ferguson, J.D., Director of the STOP Obesity Alliance. "There is no evidence that stigmatizing weight-related health issues prevents or treats these problems in fact, the opposite appears to be true. It is an important opportunity for members of both the obesity and eating disorders communities to advocate for a focus on health rather than weight as a measure of well-being."

The groups released a new analysis of media coverage that showed room to improve the reporting on weight and health, based on a series of media guidelines released by the STOP Obesity Alliance and NEDA last year.

The guidelines offer simple message themes to include when addressing weight and focus on the concept that weight status and the importance of maintaining a healthy weight is not about appearance, but about health. A comparison of coverage from sample outlets over the last year however looking at media that target a "Beltway" audience and those that are more consumer oriented found that 75 percent of articles initially reviewed were dismissed from the analysis because they lacked substantive content. While many consumer articles focused on weight-loss tips, characterized as "fighting flab", "shrinking your middle" or "looking leaner naked", most failed to mention the health implications.

"Our conversation today and the new media analysis echo the ongoing need for us to address the societal pressures and the unrealistic images that we know can be contributing factors among people who develop eating disorders, depression and other esteem issues," said Lynn Grefe, President and CEO of NEDA. "It is why we have come together to address these issues. These pressures affect all of us."

The media analysis also found that Beltway media publications were three times as likely to consider external factors beyond will power as playing a role in, and being affected by, weight issues. Examples of this were a higher rate of coverage in Beltway outlets that reported on how weight issues can impact the economy and the workplace.

The roundtable discussion, "Pounds and Policy: Effectively Communicating About Weight and Health" also included experts from a cross-section of fields including media, communications, eating disorders and obesity:

  • Jean Kilbourne, EdD, media critic, author and expert on advertising and women
  • Sarah Kliff, health reporter POLITICO
  • Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Director of Research, Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University
  • Chevese Turner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Binge Eating Disorders Association

The STOP Obesity Alliance and NEDA will continue work and outreach to the media and policymakers regarding the joint guidelines.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alice Sofield
asofield@ccapr.com
202-609-6006
Chandler Chicco Agency
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pharmahelper Pleased To Recognize Online Pharmacy Practice Standards Announced By Google Adwords
2. Gestures or Words? To the Brain, Its the Same
3. Online Tool Created to Contact Vatican Officials: Why Are American Bishops Allowed to Defy the Popes Words Concerning Child Killing and the Eucharist?
4. Provalis Research Announces the Release of WordStat 6, Delivering Enhanced Analytical and Visualization Tools for Textual Data
5. Words to the wise: Experts define wisdom
6. Write the Right Words Answers What-to-Write Questions
7. Infants Process Words Much Like Adults, Study Finds
8. Sign language users read words and see signs simultaneously
9. Michael J. Fox Foundation Awards $1 Million to Drive Critical New Research Tools and Technologies in Parkinsons Drug Development
10. Hayes Announces Appointment Of Dr Susan Levine To The Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee (MEDCAC)
11. Flat Head Syndrome Linked to Developmental Delays
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... , ... Journal of Oral Implantology – Tooth loss is not ... health, including complications with speech, eating, and overcompensation of mouth due to the deficiency. ... As the number of tooth replacements increase, it is imperative to design an implant ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Elisabete ... has been honored by Enterprising Women magazine as one of its 2017 Enterprising ... women business owners. Winners have demonstrated that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 26, 2017 , ... RawTrition now ... easy way to get nutrients from SUPERFOODS! , RawTrition is taking nutrients ... the cellular level because the body recognizes its raw form (unlike the synthetically made ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... MYOLYN, a medical technology company dedicated ... received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for two ... devices are stationary cycling systems that use MYOLYN’s patent-pending functional electrical stimulation ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... to raising awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and funding for Duchenne research, ... cells) Phase I/II HOPE clinical trial in Duchenne announced today. , Coalition ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... 19, 2017  Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company developing new treatments for cancer and other ... its previously announced underwritten public offering of 23,625,084 ... offering price of $2.00 per share, before deducting ... payable by Sorrento.  The net proceeds to Sorrento ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... April 19, 2017  Novartis today announced the ... Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the ... of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic anemia (SAA) ... with eltrombopag at the initiation of and concurrently ... evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or cohorts. Cohort ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a global medical device ... markets with innovative and proprietary products, will release financial ... after the market close on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. ... call and webcast to discuss its financial results the ... p.m. Eastern Time (3:30 p.m. Central Time). Darin ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: