News media framing of New York City's sugar-sweetened beverage portion-size cap

Elisabeth A. Donaldson, Joanna E. Cohen, Patricia L. Truant, Lainie Rutkow, Norma F. Kanarek, Colleen L. Barry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objectives. We assessed news media framing of New York City's proposed regulation to prohibit the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages greater than 16 ounces. Methods. We conducted a quantitative content analysis of print and television news from within and outside New York City media markets. We examined support for and opposition to the portion-size cap in the news coverage from its May 31, 2012, proposal through the appellate court ruling on July 31, 2013. Results. News coverage corresponded to key events in the policy's evolution. Although most stories mentioned obesity as a problem, a larger proportion used opposing frames (84%) than pro-policy frames (36%). Mention of pro-policy frames shifted toward the policy's effect on special populations. The debate's most prominent frame was the opposing frame that the policy was beyond the government's role (69%). Conclusions. News coverage within and outside the New York City media market was more likely to mention arguments in opposition to than in support of the portion-size cap. Understanding how the news media framed this issue provides important insights for advocates interested in advancing similar measures in other jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2202-2209
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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