SIRC Media Watch Archive
The Pick – July 2004

social issues research  Scientists still seeking cure for obesity. In spite of billions of dollars spent and decades of research, scientists at the University of Chicago said Monday that the scientific community is no closer to finding a cure for the potentially fatal disease of obesity … "I came down with obesity two years after I got married," 41-year-old Oklahoma City resident Fran Torley said. "I know it was hard for my husband to watch me suffer from this disease. When he caught obesity a year later, he got so depressed, he couldn't do anything but sit on the couch. Some days, we sit and watch television from dawn till dusk, hoping for news of a breakthrough." The Onion.

Ofcom rules out ban on child junk food ads. The television watchdog, Ofcom, ruled out a ban on advertising junk foods to children yesterday, saying the role of advertising in obesity was small compared to that of other factors such as exercise and family habits. It said any other action would have to wait for the government's public health white paper in the autumn. The decision to kick the issue into the long grass sets Ofcom on collision course with the growing campaign to curb marketing to children. Guardian.

Dangers in war on fat, says expert. New Zealand's anti-obesity message risks encouraging dangerous dieting among women and could increase eating disorders, a researcher says. Dr Maree Burns, who completed her PhD research in psychology at Auckland University and now works in England, said women who were already concerned with being thin justified their radical diets as healthy because they were getting rid of fat. "By focusing on the 'appearance of health' – that is, being a certain weight – health promotion messages are unintentionally supporting unhealthy behaviour," she said. NZ Herald.