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Tweets with fatphobia? Study Shows Most Twitter Posts About Obesity Are Negative

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(Image credit-  Tech Times) The majority of tweets on obesity are negative, according to a recent study that was presented at the European Congress on Obesity. Twitter engagement increased after significant political events, including conversations about Donald Trump's weight during his administration and an obesity campaign started by Boris Johnson in the UK, according to researchers from Switzerland and the UK. In order to create effective health policies and prevention efforts, Dr. Jorge Correia, a researcher from the University Hospitals of Geneva, underlines the significance of comprehending public attitudes and perceptions of obesity. Dr. Correia stated in a statement that "understanding the public's attitudes toward, and perceptions of, obesity is key to the formulation of effective health policies, prevention strategies, and treatment approaches." [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="790"]In Obesity Research, Fatphobia Is Always the X Factor - Scientific American Image credit- Scientific American[/caption] The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are just two of the significant institutions that we have examined in this study using the amount of information accessible on Twitter to assess public attitude. The researchers used Twitter data to do sentiment analysis and classify messages into positive, negative, and neutral categories using cutting-edge AI techniques. They noted the primary subjects mentioned as well. Between December 2019 and December 2021, 25,580 tweets about obesity were included in the investigation. The findings showed that negative attitudes were conveyed in a substantially higher percentage of tweets (72.97%) than neutral sentiments (18.78%) or positive sentiments (8.25%). Twitter usage increased during significant political events, such as when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi described Donald Trump as "morbidly obese." Nearly 94% of the tweets that were relevant were derogatory. According to Dr. Correia, negative depictions of obesity by prominent persons have the potential to worsen stigma and transmit false information, which could have an adverse effect on public health. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="1155"]Fatphobia in a Time of Pandemic Image credit- Healthline[/caption] There was a noticeable increase in Twitter activity when Boris Johnson unveiled his obesity campaign in the UK, which received a lot of negative press. During this time, unfavorable sentiments were conveyed in almost 73.9% of the tweets that were sent out. The investigation covered 243 subjects, including racism, high minority obesity rates, COVID-19 immunization, childhood obesity, and many more. Tweets about the COVID-19 vaccination for obese people and debates of Nancy Pelosi's remarks about Donald Trump drew the most interest among these. Surprisingly, research teams discussing their work on obesity accounted for the third-largest group of tweets, with bigotry toward Black people coming in at number four. Also read: Meta Still Stands to Ban Donald Trump after His 2024 Presidential Run Negative tweets regularly highlighted the increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations and fatalities among obese people while also blaming them for their weight. The researchers emphasize the need of tackling obesity from all angles. Dr. Correia underlines the value of spending money on different parts of the healthcare of obesity, such as enhancing health education, increasing awareness, lowering stigma, and creating efficient therapies. To increase public awareness of obesity, they advise launching campaigns on websites like Twitter in partnership with other social media networks, government, and nonprofit groups.  

By Monica Green

I am specialised in latest tech and tech discoveries.


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