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Body weight and social control in Australian media: panoptic and synoptic perspectives

posted on 04.03.2018, 22:36 authored by DANIELLE LOBENA COUCH
To explore body weight in Australian media, media-related information was examined including: i) weight loss stories from a men’s health magazine; ii) the views and experiences of obese people in relation to news reporting of obesity and the ‘thin ideal’; and iii) a public health campaign. The interaction between public health data and media were considered. Findings indicate that body weight media messages act as a form of social control and have an impact on obese people. There are consequences of living with different body weights. A theoretical model that combines media and surveillance was used to understand the results. The findings can be used for weight-related public health initiatives.


Principal supervisor

Paul Komesaroff

Additional supervisor 1

Gil-Soo Han

Additional supervisor 2

Priscilla Robinson

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Primary Health Care

Additional Institution or Organisation

Centre for Ethics in Medicine and Society

Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences