Thematic Analysis of How Childhood Obesity is Represented by Online News Media in Pakistan

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Prevalence of obesity among children in Pakistan has been steadily increasing over the years. There is an increased interest in how the news media represents contemporary challenges, including childhood obesity, in public health. This study attempts at understanding how online news media in Pakistan portray the issue of childhood obesity to its citizens. A science-centered approach citing expert opinions and facts has been used to address the issue. An individual has not been framed primarily responsible for childhood obesity, rather more emphasis is given on the fact that other social, economic, and political factors also contribute to the rise in childhood obesity. Considering the influence news media can have on public opinions, the issue of childhood obesity needs to be highlighted more often and with a continued focus on prevention on systemic level rather than individual level. Childhood obesity needs to be handled on national level with public health campaigns committed to gain control of the situation now when the problem is not so critical.

Obesity, Childhood Obesity, News Media, Pakistan, Media Framing, Thematic Analysis