Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public HealthMore Press Releases related to this journal
Vol 37 (6 Issues in 2013)
Edited by: Professor John Lowe (Managing Editor), Professor Rod McClure, Professor Alistair Woodward, Dr Priscilla Robinson, Dr Sandra Campbell and Dr Anna Ziersch
Print ISSN: 1326-0200 Online ISSN: 1753-6405
Impact Factor: 1.203
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Representations of childhood obesity in Australian newsprint media and academic literature
Victim blaming by media deflects attention away from more serious causes of childhood obesity.
This is the finding from a study published in the April issue of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. Amber Bastian from Flinders University, examined how the issue of childhood obesity is represented in Australian newsprint media and academic literature.
Newsprint media emphasised individual responsibility for obesity, while the academic literature focused on social-structural circumstances such as lifestyle, socioeconomic status and physical environment. “The focus on individual responsibility does not consider the impact of socioeconomic status on access to healthy foods and physical activity opportunities,” said Ms Bastian.
“For single working parents or double working parent households, time pressure is a barrier to preparing healthy meals and transporting children to sporting activities. “Taking an individual approach is victim blaming. This can result in poor self-esteem and further exacerbate poor health outcomes.
“This poses a challenge for public health professionals to shift media attention and public debate towards the social-structural influences on childhood obesity.”