Motivating or Stigmatising?

Finding effective public health messaging

Professor Jane Ogden

Tuesday 22 November 20:00–21:00 GMT

Season 3


During the COVID-19 pandemic, research showed that those of a higher body weight are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Media reporting quickly shifted to communicate this and the UK Government introduced several measures to reduce obesity prevalence, including legislative changes and a new public health campaign.

Did this messaging simply add to existing stigma of people living with obesity? Or was it a key motivator to improve health?

This Journal Club session discusses a study exploring how people living with overweight or obesity respond to public health messaging about weight loss in the context of COVID-19.

The session will critically analyse the paper to explore what messaging works and for who, and will provide insights into how to critically analyse both qualitative and quantitative research in the area of weight stigma and behaviour change.

Watch this webinar to

Gain clear understanding of:
  • The strengths and weakness of different research designs
  • The problems with research conclusions about causality
  • The status of qualitative data
Be aware of:
  • Limitations with all research designs
  • Strengths and limitations of qualitative data
Be able to:
  • Navigate through a paper efficiently
  • Judge whether the conclusions are justified

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Expert speaker

Professor Jane Ogden
Professor in Health Psychology, University of Surrey


Jane Ogden is a Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey where she teaches psychology, dietetic, nutrition and vet students to think psychologically about health. She has carried out research into eating behaviour and weight management for over 30 years and has published 8 books and over 200 research papers. She is also a regular contributor to the media and passionate about making science accessible.

Paper reference

This session discusses the paper: Stewart, S.-J.F. and Ogden, J. (2022), “Motivating or stigmatising? The public health and media messaging surrounding COVID-19 and obesity: a qualitative think aloud study”, Health Education, Vol. 122 No. 4, pp. 374-386. https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-04-2021-0067​

Dr Caroline Childs - Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences within Medicine at the University of Southampton

About Journal Club Chair, Dr Caroline Childs

Each Journal Club session is chaired by Dr Caroline Childs, Nutrition and Metabolism subject lead in Medicine at the University of Southampton. She received student-nominated awards for ‘most engaging lecturer’ and ‘best pastoral support’ and a colleague-nominated award for teaching excellence. Dr Childs is a Nutrition Society Ambassador and a South East Regional Representative for the Association for Nutrition.

As she says, “Developing skills in critical appraisal is an essential part of being a competent nutrition professional – whether you’re a dietitian, nutritionist or health professional specialising in nutrition.”


Nutrition research reported in the media often highlights mixed or contradictory results between studies. So, as a nutrition professional, how can you ensure you use the strongest available evidence to inform your practice?


This webinar has been approved for CPD by the AfN

Once you have viewed a full recorded session the mynutriweb team will review and arrange to send you your certificate via email from hello@mynutriweb.com within two weeks of viewing the session.