Global Health Group Identifies Alarming Trend in Childhood Obesity Conversation
GLOBALHealthPR IHSMS 2.0 Initiative Reveals Opportunities for Healthcare Providers, Communicators, Industry and Public Health Advocates to Shift Dialogue Related to Global Health Crisis
Washington, D.C., September 12, 2012 – The online dialogue about childhood obesity falls surprisingly short considering its prevalence, according to a recent research initiative sponsored by GLOBALHealthPR. IHSMS, in its second year, is a calculated, cross-cultural social media listening approach that focuses on different public health issues across the globe. This year, the IHSMS analysts discovered that while childhood obesity is a global problem, it’s not exactly a global conversation. Today, GLOBALHealthPR, the largest independent public relations organisation dedicated exclusively to health and scientific communications worldwide, released an infographic on the shortcomings of the childhood obesity conversation online.
GLOBALHealthPR revealed that while one in 10 children worldwide is obese, there were only 15,189 online conversations in one month –one per 23,440 obese children. Also, GLOBALHealthPR analysts uncovered that while obesity rates of many nations are quite comparable, the bulk of conversation still occurs in the U.S. Included below are key insights revealed through the IHSMS 2.0 initiative:
- Given that child obesity is a preventable but widespread condition, GLOBALHealthPR analysts were surprised to find that the levels of conversation around prevention and treatment are extremely low, compared to less common diseases with few or no treatment options. For example, leukemia is connected with 7,813 times as many conversations as childhood obesity, despite the fact that leukemia affects fewer people per capita and is not preventable. Listening has shown that there is huge opportunity for growth with respect to the childhood obesity conversation. Opportunity begins with simple steps, such as parents, health care providers and school leadership collaborating more closely within online communities, as well as engaging with outside online influencers to share how their fitness and nutrition initiatives are succeeding.
- In many regions, particularly within South America, almost no conversation about childhood obesity exists, despite its rise in prevalence. In these areas, there is an opportunity to develop this conversation, driving awareness and helping to prevent childhood obesity from becoming as widespread as it is in the United States.
- In the United States, many mommy bloggers are talking about how to tackle the issue within their own families through diet and exercise. Content, however, is not reaching families who need the guidance, accounting for this considerable gap in the level of conversation versus the incidence of this condition.
“While levels of childhood obesity are rising worldwide, the levels of conversation around this disease are not sufficient to effect change,” said Anthony LaFauce, Director of Digital Strategy for GLOBALHealthPR U.S. “Healthcare providers, policymakers, industry and advocacy groups have the opportunity and the obligation to use social media to increase targeted education and awareness around childhood obesity.”
The IHSMS 2.0 team employed the Social Framework™, GLOBALHealthPR’s online listening, evaluation and strategy development methodology, and took a one-month survey of seven countries across the globe. The group looked at how the digital conversation around child obesity stacked up in Argentina, Australia, India, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Mexico and the U.S. The new infographic is available online and can be embedded on other sites with credit to GLOBALHealthPR.
About IHSMS 2.0
In 2011, during the first annual International Healthcare Social Media Summit, GLOBALHealthPR convened to present data and reveal insight from a global listening program which spanned 15 countries, assessing the impact and conversation around malaria. The Social Framework™ revealed insights into how malaria is discussed across the globe in the online space and illuminated opportunities for reaching target audiences in an impactful way. One of the key takeaways was that higher prevalence markets view the contraction of malaria similar to the contraction of the common cold, whereas in low prevalence markets, the conversation is focused on disease epidemiology and science. This year, the program has evolved to IHSMS 2.0, which focuses on a semi-annual study of highly relevant public health issues such as childhood obesity, diabetes and AIDS.
GLOBALHealthPR, founded in 2001, is committed to serving clients that span the globe. Its dynamic world-wide partnership provides best-in-class results by combining global expertise with targeted local market insight. An independent, hands-on approach differentiates its partner firms and enables delivery of smart, strategic programs that effectively meet the needs of clients. The network is represented by independent agencies in 17 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S. The organisation is headquartered in Washington, DC, at Spectrum.