The HABRI Foundation is calling for research proposals to investigate the health outcomes of pet ownership and/or animal-assisted activity or therapy, both for the people and the animals involved. To learn more, visit https://habri.org/grants/funding-opportunities/ close

 
You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Portrayals of canine obesity in English-language newspapers and in leading veterinary journals, 2000-2009: implications for animal welfare organizations and veterinarians as public educators / About

Portrayals of canine obesity in English-language newspapers and in leading veterinary journals, 2000-2009: implications for animal welfare organizations and veterinarians as public educators

By C. Degeling, M. Rock, L. Teows

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

In industrialized societies, more than 1 in 3 dogs and people currently qualify as overweight or obese. Experts in public health expect both these figures to rise. Although clinical treatment remains important, so are public perceptions and social norms. This article presents a thematic analysis of English-language mass media coverage on canine obesity from 2000 through 2009 and compares these results with a thematic analysis of articles on canine obesity in leading veterinary journals during the same time period. Drawing on Giddens's theory of structuration, this study identified articles that emphasized individual agency, environmental structure, or both as contributors to canine obesity. Comparisons with weight-related health problems in human populations were virtually absent from the veterinary sample. Although such comparisons were almost always present in the media sample, quotations from veterinarians and other spokespeople for the welfare of nonhuman animals emphasized the agency of individual caregivers (owners) over structural influences. Now that weight gain and obesity have been established as a pressing animal welfare problem, these results suggest a need for research and for interventions, such as media advocacy, that emphasize intersections between animal-owner agency, socioenvironmental determinants, and connections between animal welfare and human health.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 14
Issue 4
Pages 286-303
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2011.600160
Language English
Author Address Population Health Intervention Research Centre, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, TRW Building, Room 3E18, 3280 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada.cjdegeli@ucalgary.ca
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Analysis
  2. Animal health and hygiene
  3. Animal nutrition
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animals
  6. Animal science
  7. Animal welfare
  8. Canidae
  9. Canine
  10. Carnivores
  11. Communication
  12. Comparisons
  13. Dogs
  14. Environment
  15. Fat
  16. Health
  17. Health services
  18. Humans
  19. Illnesses
  20. Interventions
  21. Mammals
  22. Media
  23. Men
  24. obesity
  25. perceptions
  26. Pets and companion animals
  27. Primates
  28. Public health
  29. vertebrates
  30. Veterinarians
  31. Veterinary medicine
  32. Veterinary surgery
  33. Weight