Food, body weight, and health among adolescents in the digital age: An explorative study from a health promotion perspective
The overall aim of this thesis was to explore adolescents’ relationship with food, body weight, and health communication in online digital media, as well as how adolescents experience participating in a health promotion intervention regarding food and physical activity habits. Health promotion as a research area served three purposes: to inform the research questions, to direct the data collection, and to identify implications from the research findings. The four included studies explored how adolescents portray food in a widely used image-sharing application, why and how adolescents in treatment for obesity engaged with online health-related information, and how these adolescents experienced presenting themselves on social media. The fourth study explored adolescents’ experiences of participating in a healthpromoting intervention, focusing on their experiences of using a social media group within the intervention. Overall, the findings suggest that food is a significant means of adolescents’ online self-presentation practices. Food imagery was most often communicated in a positive way, associated with commercial elements, and often depicting high-calorie foods. Adolescents with obesity experienced this user-generated food content as challenging for their weight management. These findings also question the separation between media and information content as stated in the original definition of eHealth literacy. The findings also emphasize a need to explore the adolescents’ own experiences of acceptability of using social media in health promotion practices, with regards to the type of social media and in what context it was or could be used.
Parts of work
I. Holmberg, C., Chaplin, J. E., Hillman, T., & Berg, C. (2016). Adolescents' presentation of food in social media: An explorative study. Appetite, 99, 121-129. ::doi::10.1016/j.appet.2016.01.009II. Holmberg, C., Berg, C., Dahlgren, J., Lissner, L., & Chaplin, J. E. (2018) Health literacy in a complex digital media landscape: Pediatric obesity patients’ experiences with online weight, food, and health information. Health Informatics Journal. Epub ahead of print. ::doi::10.1177/1460458218759699III. Holmberg, C., Berg, C., Hillman, T., Lissner, L. & Chaplin, J. E. Self-presentation in digital media among adolescent patients with obesity: striving for integrity, risk-reduction, and social recognition. (Submitted for publication).IV. Holmberg, C., Larsson, C., Korp, P., Lindgren, E. C., Fröberg, A., Jonsson, L., Chaplin, J. E., & Berg, C. Adolescents experiences of an empowerment-based intervention focusing on healthy food and physical activity habits, based in a multicultural school setting in a low socioeconomic area in Sweden. (Submitted for publication).
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Utbildningsvetenskapliga fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Education
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science ; Institutionen för kost- och idrottsvetenskap
Onsdagen den 9 maj 2018, kl. 9:00, MH-salen, Inst. för kost- och idrottsvetenskap, Läroverksgatan 5
Date of defence
Adolescence, Digital media, eHealth literacy, Food communication, Health promotion, Obesity, Social media
Gothenburg Studies in Educational Sciences