Internet, health, communications, obesity;
This thesis focuses on ways the Internet can positively influence and educate U.S. Americans to become healthier and eventually lose weight. Throughout the past 30 years, the percentage of overweight and obese adults in the U.S. has increased immensely, resulting in a nationwide epidemic (American Association for Public Opinion Research, 2006; Center for Disease Control, 2006; Goodman, 2005; The Obesity Society, 2008). The research question for this thesis is the following: What are the perceptions of U.S. adult consumers regarding the positive influence the Internet has on weight loss? In order to determine the influence of the Internet on U.S. adults, a qualitative method of interviewing was conducted with fifteen U.S. adults. Upon completion of listening to the audiotapes and transcribing the health narratives, six key themes emerged as the most relevant to the author's research question: (1) Weight Loss Support Rooted in Social Networking, (2) Internet as an Exercise Motivator, (3) Lack of Trust in Internet Sources for Health Information, (4) Meaningfulness of Health Seeking, (5) Internet as a Teaching Tool, and (6) Uses and Gratifications of Online Health Seeking. Overall, based on this small sample, the researcher concluded that U.S. adults have often turned to the Internet as an aid in their weight loss journey. U.S. adults have a positive perception of the Internet and feel that most adults would benefit from using it to find health information.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Kirby, Jaclyn, "The Role Of The Internet As A Tool To Aid In U.S. Adult Consumers' Weight Loss" (2009). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4164.