‘Can Someone Please Decide?’ How the Media Represent the Risk of Drinking During Pregnancy
Advice about low but widespread health and lifestyle risks is difficult for public health bodies to get right. Geoffrey Rose’s “prevention paradox” explains how these risks can look different from a public health and an individual’s point of view. Taking the case study of a UK media controversy from 2007 to 2008 about apparently conflicting risk advice from two public health bodies about the recommended limits of alcohol during pregnancy, this chapter will examine how the prevention paradox can play out in public and explain the delicate public position public health advice can find itself.
The research was first carried out as part of the Winton Programme for the Public Understanding of Risk at the Statistical Laboratory of the University of Cambridge. Many thanks to David Spiegelhalter for inspiring this research, and to Ellie Lee and Jenny Bristow for comments on an earlier draft.
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