Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    'Fat is your fault': Gatekeepers to health, attributions of responsibility and the portrayal of gender in the Irish media representation of obesity
    We investigated the representation of obesity in the Irish media by conducting an inductive thematic analysis on newspaper articles (n=346) published in 2005, 2007 and 2009 sampled from six major publications. The study analysed the media's construction of gender in discussions of obesity and associated attributions of blame. Three dominant themes are discussed: the caricatured portrayal of gender, women as caregivers for others, and emotive parent-blaming for childhood obesity. Men were portrayed as a homogenous group; unaware and unconcerned about weight and health issues. Dieting and engaging in preventative health behaviours were portrayed as activities exclusively within the female domain and women were depicted as responsible for encouraging men to be healthy. Parents, specifically mothers, attracted much blame for childhood obesity and media messages aimed to shame and disgrace parents of obese children through use of emotive and evocative language. This portrayal was broadly consistent across media types and served to reinforce traditional gender roles by positioning women as primarily responsible for health. This analysis offers the first qualitative investigation into the Irish media discourse on obesity and indicates a rather traditional take on gender roles in diet and nutrition.
    Scopus© Citations 43  1052
  • Publication
    Examining the Media Portrayal of Obesity Through the Lens of the Common Sense Model of Illness Representations
    This study examined the Irish media discourse on obesity by employing the Common Sense Model of Illness Representations. A media sample of 368 transcripts was compiled from newspaper articles (n = 346), radio discussions (n = 5), and online news articles (n = 17) on overweight and obesity from the years 2005, 2007, and 2009. Using the Common Sense Model and framing theory to guide the investigation, a thematic analysis was conducted on the media sample. Analysis revealed that the behavioral dimensions of diet and activity levels were the most commonly cited causes of and interventions in obesity. The advertising industry was blamed for obesity, and there were calls for increased government action to tackle the issue. Physical illness and psychological consequences of obesity were prevalent in the sample, and analysis revealed that the economy, regardless of its state, was blamed for obesity. These results are discussed in terms of expectations of audience understandings of the issue and the implications of these dominant portrayals and framings on public support for interventions. The article also outlines the value of a qualitative analytical framework that combines the Common Sense Model and framing theory in the investigation of illness narratives.
      543Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    Stakeholder perceptions of non-regulatory bovine health issues in Ireland: past and future perspectives
    In recent years, there have been multiple (political, environmental, cultural) drivers of change in Irish agriculture, including the establishment of Animal Health Ireland (AHI) in 2009, to provide leadership of non-regulatory livestock health issues (diseases and conditions of livestock that are endemic in Ireland but which are not currently subject to international legislation). In this study, we describe the opinion of stakeholders (farmers, veterinary practitioners and agricultural industry professional service providers), elicited by means of a survey, on their perceptions of changes in selected non-regulatory bovine health issues over the last 10 years and priority issues relevant to non-regulatory bovine health to be tackled over the next 10 years. Results: A total of 673 individuals participated in the online questionnaire. For the majority of the non-regulatory bovine health issues, most participants felt there had been improvements over the last 10 years. However, professional service providers were generally more conservative in their response to improvements on-farm compared to farmers. Several issues, particularly BVD and udder health/milk quality, were viewed more positively by all relevant respondents. There was reasonable agreement between responses from different respondent types and sectors regarding the top three priorities relevant to non-regulatory bovine animal health for the next 10 years in Ireland, which included antimicrobial resistance (highlighting measures to reduce both on-farm usage and resistance), anthelmintic resistance, greenhouse emissions and calf welfare. Conclusions: The results are encouraging, demonstrating a perception of improvement in a number of non-regulatory bovine health issues in Ireland over the last ten years. With respect to the next 10 years, stakeholders prioritised antimicrobial and anthelmintic resistance, greenhouse gas emissions and calf welfare, which aligns closely with broader societal concerns. This information is useful to AHI, particularly with respect to future priorities. However, these concerns are broad in scope and will require further considerations, including collaborations, between AHI and partnering organisations. Given that there were differences between farmers and professional service providers in responses, it is useful to consider how the aims and the benefits of future AHI programmes are framed and communicated to all stakeholders.
      306Scopus© Citations 6
  • Publication
    The distribution of well-being in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-01-26) ; ; ;
    Objectives: There is a substantial knowledge gap about the distribution of mental heath in community populations. The European Social Survey is particularly useful as it contains information on over 40,000 individuals, including 2,286 Irish adults. The objective of this study is to conduct a large scale statistical analysis to examine the distribution and determinants of mental well-being in a large representative sample of the Irish population. Method: Analysis of the European Social Survey using robust multiple linear and non-linear regression techniques. The data-set contains WHO-5 scores and subjective well-being for a sample of 2,286 Irish people interviewed in their homes in 2005. Results: Ireland has the second highest average WHO-5 score among the 22 countries in the European Social Survey. Multiple linear regression analysis across the distribution of WHO-5 reveals a well-being gradient largely related to education and social capital variables. A probit model examining the determinants of vulnerability to psychiatric morbidity reveals that a similar set of factors predict scores below the threshold point on the WHO-5 scale. Conclusions: The results are consistent with marked differences in mental well-being across education levels and variables relating to social capital factors. Such indicators provide a useful index for policy-makers and researchers. However, much further work is needed to identify causal mechanisms generating observed differences in mental health across different socioeconomic groups.
  • Publication
    Weight stigma and narrative resistance evident in online discussions of obesity
    This study sampled 2872 obesity-relevant comments from three years of interest from a multi-topic online message board. An inductive thematic analysis was conducted and three themes were evident: reactions and responses to obesity and obese bodies, diminished status of overweight/obese persons, and narrative resistance to an overweight/obese identity. Obesity stigma was pervasive and the discussion of the issue revealed it to be highly acceptable. Consistent with previous research, dominant representations of obese persons as lazy and unintelligent with poor self-control were evident. The analysis provided valuable insight into experiences of explicit stigma, the social and psychological repercussions of overt stigma and norms regarding the perception of obese bodies. There was a prevailing notion that the opinions and insights of overweight and obese persons on the issue of weight were not credible and were perceived as biased. Furthermore, individuals sought to distance themselves from the undesirable labels of 'overweight' and 'obese' by enacting narrative resistance to negotiate the social meaning of excess weight and endeavouring to place themselves on the ‘safe’ side of this boundary. These results highlight the pervasive nature of weight stigma and the social acceptability of such attitudes and beliefs. Furthermore, it highlights the richness of data that may be obtained by examining social media interactions as a window into the naturally-occurring discourse on obesity and stigma.
    Scopus© Citations 66  904
  • Publication
    Self-ratings of confidence in clinical & critical thinking problem-solving as a function of post-qualification experience : a study of radiation therapists
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2007-05-08) ; ;
    Recognising one's abilities and limits in clinical tasks is a valuable part of professionalism. This study investigated the self-ratings of problem-solving confidence of radiation therapists in two domains: clinical scenarios and critical thinking items. We divided the sixty participants into three groups based on post-qualification experience (PQE), and found that greater PQE was linked with higher self-rated confidence on clinical scenarios, but not in critical thinking items.
  • Publication
    The emergence and portrayal of obesity in The Irish Times: Content analysis of obesity coverage, 1997-2009
    Both global obesity prevalence rates and media attention to obesity have increased significantly in recent years. The current study examined the representation of obesity in The Irish Times, from 1997 to 2009. A quantitative content analysis was conducted on 479 articles to examine how the causes, consequences, and solutions to obesity have been portrayed and how obesity has been described. A frame analysis was also conducted to examine the dominant frames over time. It was found that attention to obesity was positively correlated with time, indicating coverage has increased significantly over the period examined. Regarding reported causes and solutions, the behavioral frame has been dominant, though environmental and mixed-frame stories have become more frequent. The presence of the genetic frame was consistently low. The study provides an overview of how the issue is being represented in Ireland's paper of record and informs health communicators of the dominant and trending messages and the implications for individuals' formation of illness representations.
    Scopus© Citations 23  332