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Changing Public Perceptions of Excessive Drinking

advertising research / communication research / health communication / public perception / featured
Most people are aware of the dangerous consequences of excessive drinking. However, most people think about excessive drinking like they do about gun ownership: that in a variety of contexts, it’s perfectly safe and normal. Several studies—including our own research—show that most people believe that the acceptability of excessive drinking is determined by the context in which one drinks.1 2 3 If we apply this belief to gun ownership, it makes perfect sense. Where and how you use your gun fully influences whether the use of your gun might be considered "excessive." However, when applied to excessive drinking, the framework begins to fall apart. Most research shows that "situation" or "place" plays a substantial role in shaping individual’s perceptions of whether a drinking behavior should... more
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Sugar Under Fire Again Amid Allegations Industry Funding Diverted Scientific and Consumer Attention to Fat

featured / in the news / health communication / social marketing / research
Deny and subvert. South Park’s parody of Tom Brady’s strategy for dealing with bad press could easily be applied to a number of people, industries, or contexts. The latest in the spotlight is the sugar industry—under fire last week amid allegations the industry funded and influenced research with an agenda to shift the blame to fat. The outcome, many are arguing, was a potentially misplaced focus on low-fat diets…which opened the door for increased sugar consumption and contributed over several decades to the challenges we face with chronic diseases and obesity. Deflategate may be fizzling out with Brady halfway through his suspension, but the sugar industry’s woes are seemingly just beginning. Sugar Advertisement The latest uproar was sparked... more
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The Formidable Journey to Quality Healthcare for All

featured / public health / health communication / behavioral change
Early April in D.C. typically marks cherry blossom season; however this year’s early bloom means we’re freed up to celebrate other important events like National Public Health Week. While it may not be as festive, NPHW is a time of year to recognize not only what we’ve accomplished in public health but also what is left to be done. This year’s theme, to “make the U.S. the healthiest Nation in One Generation,” establishes a vision for vastly improving the health of our country by 2030. Achieving this vision requires not only transformation in the policy and structure of our healthcare system but also health behavior change at the community, family and individual level. One objective of this vision is to achieve "quality healthcare... more
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