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J Health Commun. 2007 Jun;12(4):359-76.

Talking about obesity: news framing of who is responsible for causing and fixing the problem.

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Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama 36849, USA.


Analyzing newspaper articles and television news, we explore how American news media have framed the issue of obesity. More specifically, we analyze the way the media present the question of who is responsible for causing and fixing the problem. Our data reveal that over the last 10 years, mentions of personal causes and solutions significantly have outnumbered societal attributions of responsibility. Recently, however, a balance was established between individualistic and societal attributions of responsibility. Mentions of societal causes and solutions have increased considerably, whereas decreasing numbers of personal solutions have appeared in the media. Findings also indicate that television news is more likely than newspapers to mention personal solutions, but less likely to attribute the responsibility to society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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