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Can The Media Solve Climbing Obesity Rates? part 2

Mass media campaigns can be used to improve populations’ dietary habits and promote health. Opportunities to utilize mass media, which includes any form of communication that reaches populations (i.e., television, print media, social media), have increased in recent years. We have seen changes and improvements in mass media communication largely due to the increased use of social media and mobile technology. As access to mobile technology and populations’ use of smartphones and social media increase, health communicators have increased opportunities to reach populations through these mass communication mediums. I believe that no other intervention approach to decrease obesity rates has the potential for as wide a reach as mass media, and the literature supports its efficacy. Mass media campaigns that target individual dietary behaviors like increasing vegetable intake or reducing sodium are effective at promoting those behaviors [1]. The 1990s “5-A-Day” campaign, a well-known nutrition education campaign that promoted increasing fruit and vegetable intake to at least five servings per day, used television, radio, and print materials to reach its target audience. This initiative was successful in its efforts. It was associated with a significant increase in fruit and vegetable consumption and increased awareness of health benefits associated with consuming fruits and vegetables. The success of mass communication in campaigns and interventions is not exclusive to increasing fruit and vegetable intake. This method has proven effective at promoting folic acid supplementation and the maintenance of weight loss The Community Guide. I believe mass media campaigns advance global nutrition efforts to reduce overweight and obesity rates because of the extent to which media is incorporated into people’s daily lives. Much like mass media campaigns, regulations on marketing through mass communication could also advance global nutrition.