The Harms of Targeted Weight Loss Ads with Liza Gak

19 Oct, 2022

The Harms of Targeted Weight Loss Ads with Liza Gak

BCNM DE Liza Gak joins Data Skeptic to discuss her research on harmful weight loss advertising.

Liza’s research interest lies around human-computer interaction (HCI), social computing, and how people are harmed online. She starts by discussing some observations from her study on weight loss ads, many of which are not in the interest of the ad viewers. She also discusses the problem with weight loss ads and unsubstantiated facts. Speaking of her research methodology, Liza explains how she sourced respondents for her interviews. She delves into the kind of questions asked and the strategies she employed in eliciting information from the respondents.

Liza explains how she grouped and coded the qualitative data using the inductive iterative approach. She spoke about her findings, iterating how weight loss ads target the vulnerable. She then discusses the several sources of harm in weight loss ads.

Liza discusses how advertisers can be more transparent with the data they use for ad targeting. She also explains how ad distribution platforms can play a role in ameliorating the harm ads cause to users.

Rounding up, she discusses her other interest in the ad tech space.

Listen to the podcast here!