Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TV Industry Masks Role of Food Industry in Childhood Obesity

Television coverage of childhood obesity is less likely than print media to focus on the role of the food and beverage industry, according to a new report in the journal Pediatrics.
On the other hand, TV networks more often mention solutions on the personal level, like exercising and eating healthy foods.
That is concerning, researchers say, because spotlighting individual ways to combat obesity instead of focusing on underlying societal issues can pull the public's attention away from needed changes.
"If we think the answer to solving the problem is all about individuals changing their behavior, then there is no role for policy changes," said Colleen Barry of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, who worked on the study.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past three decades, reaching close to 20 percent in 2008.

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