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Table 1 Media framing of obesity

From: Indigenous obesity in the news: a media analysis of news representation of obesity in Australia’s Indigenous population

Frame Description Articles n (%)
Structural determinants • Obesogenic environments, external/extrinsic factors and/or structural determinants represented as causes/solutions of obesity
• Indigenous Australians identified as not lacking motivation to be healthy; framed as facing many hurdles/challenges beyond their control preventing them from being healthy
17 (45)
‘Good news’ stories • Positive stories reporting on donations, or successful programs, trials or studies
• Promoting efforts of governments (state, local) or other organisations
15 (40)
‘Lifestyle’ issue • ‘Lifestyle’ identified or alluded to as the solution to Indigenous obesity
• Most common suggestions were dietary changes and increasing physical activity/exercise
12 (32)
Risk factor of other diseases • Obesity identified as a risk factor or cause of other diseases (e.g. diabetes, cancer, kidney disease)
• Some articles used emotive, sensationalising or alarmist language, and/or statistics to emphasise frame
12 (32)
Willpower and determination • Obesity framed as an individual issue and a matter of choice
• Willpower presented as the only prerequisite to overcome obesity; and that it is lacking
• Frame conversely applied to laud individuals/communities for successfully ‘taking control’; framed as possessing such a strong desire to resolve obesity that they defied the odds and succeeded
7 (18)
Statistics • Statistics used to bolster message of article and frequently highlighted with language features; often described as ‘alarming’
• Indigenous obesity represented as an important issue, however the small number of articles published did not reflect this importance
5 (13)
Working together • Focus on multi-sectoral approaches to addressing Indigenous obesity
• Highlighted governments, organisations, or study/trial coordinators working with local communities; or individuals within communities working together
5 (13)
Back to basics • Focus on simple, commonsense ‘lifestyle’ changes, food and nutrition, preparing healthy meals, and increasing physical activity
• Included encouragement to return to traditional roots and lifestyle
4 (11)
Benefits of weight loss • Positive results of weight loss or ‘lifestyle’ change highlighted
• Success stories featuring emotive language to emotionally draw-in reader and emphasise benefits (e.g. social, psychological, etc.) experienced by individuals
4 (11)
Surgery solution • Lap-band surgery represented as the solution to obesity; identified as a simple yet effective solution with very positive results
• Also included a contested representation where both benefits and risks/concerns were raised
3 (8)
The saviour • Individuals represented as rescuing Indigenous communities from obesity through financial or other support; portrayed as significantly contributing to addressing Indigenous obesity 2 (5)
Race • Included both positive and negative representations of the racial frame; race identified as both a source of pride and the cause of ill-treatment 2 (5)