Challenging stereotypes and legitimating fat: An analysis of obese people's views on news media reporting guidelines and promoting body diversity

Kate HOLLAND, Warwick BLOOD, Samantha Thomas, Sophie Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article contributes to scholarship on the cultural politics of obesity by providing insights into how people considered ‘obese’ think news media reporting should be improved and their views on ideas such as reporting guidelines and promoting body diversity. A thematic analysis of interview data identified the following themes: ‘Challenging stereotypes’, ‘The limits of news’, ‘Individual responsibility’ and ‘Legitimating fat’. These themes capture the divergence in views and reflect differences in how people construct obesity and conceive the influences of media on audiences. Situated in the context of the contested science and news frames surrounding obesity, the analysis also engages with wider debates about the potentially unintended consequences of seeking to challenge stigma. We conclude that media and policy discourses need to reflect a diversity of ways of framing obesity if the views of obese people are to be included
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-445
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sociology
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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