Obesity Disappears From Television News Since 2014

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Obesity is increasingly cited by medical researchers as a dangerous aggravating comorbidity for COVID-19 that can lead to worse health outcomes in infected individuals. The timeline below shows the percentage of airtime mentioning the words "obese" or "obesity" on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News since June 2009 using data from the Internet Archive's Television News Archive processed by the GDELT Project, showing how beginning in June 2014 mentions start to sharply decrease, with a second major reduction in Fall 2015, from which mentions have never recovered. It is unclear whether this marks a shift away from coverage of obesity or whether there may have been a shift in how obesity was covered, such terminology changes or an emphasis on promoting healthy eating rather than the negative elements of obesity, but the term itself appears to have markedly dropped over the 2014-2015 period. Overall this represents a drop from 50-100 mentions per month to just 0-10 mentions a month in recent years.

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GDELT Project