Professor Edgar A Strong Voice in Health Communication

Timothy Edgar, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director for the Health Communication Program, has recently spoken with several news outlets regarding health campaigns across the nation. ABC World News, USA Today, and My Health News Daily all featured some of Edgar’s insight on the ethical and moral natures of these controversial campaign tactics. The campaigns in question have been found to mislead its audience through image alteration and the use of actors.

In the story from USA Today, Edgar commented on the use of an actor to convey the message of one poster that depicts a man with an amputated leg. The ad’s purpose was to warn about the increase in portion sizes and how that can in turn lead to type 2 diabetes and amputations. However, the actor shown in the photo was only missing a leg due to photo editing. According to Edgar, this method of getting a point across is “a huge mistake.”

Similarly, in his talks with My Health News Daily and ABC World News, Edgar said that deceiving the public in such a way borders on being unethical and weakens the campaign’s credentials. He noted that successful health campaigns are ones that feature real victims of health issues.

By Sarah Ruggiero

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