1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Critical Obesity Studies

Edited By Michael Gard, Darren Powell, José Tenorio Copyright 2022
    422 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    The Routledge Handbook of Critical Obesity Studies is an authoritative and challenging guide to the breadth and depth of critical thinking and theory on obesity. Rather than focusing on obesity as a public health crisis to be solved, this reference work offers divergent and radical strategies alongside biomedical and positivist discourses.

    Comprised of thirty nine original chapters from internationally recognised academics, as well as emerging scholars, the Handbook engages students, academics, researchers and practitioners in contemporary critical scholarship on obesity; encourages engagement of social science and related disciplines in critical thinking and theorising on obesity; enhances critical theoretical and methodological work in the area, highlighting potential gaps as well as strengths; relates critical scholarship to new and evolving areas of obesity-related practices, policies and research. 

    This multidisciplinary and international collection is designed for a broad audience of academics, researchers, students and practitioners within the social and health sciences, including sociology, obesity science, public health, medicine, sports studies, fat studies, psychology, nutrition science, education and disability studies.

    Part A: Introduction

    Chapter 1- The Worlds of Critical Obesity Studies

    Darren Powell, José Tenorio and Michael Gard

    Part B: History

    Chapter 2- A Critical Obesidarium (in English)

    Hillel Schwartz

    Chapter 3- How Body Size Became a Disease: A History of Body Mass Index and its Rise to Clinical Importance

    Katherine M Flegal

    Chapter 4- Obesity in Transition: A Challenge in Modern History

    Peter N. Stearns

    Chapter 5- Obesity in Brazil: Between Liberties and Pathologies

    Denise Bernuzzi de Sant’Anna

    Chapter 6- Middle-Aged Businessman and Social Progress: The Links between Risk Factor Research and the Obesity Epidemic

    Isabel Fletcher

    Chapter 7- Crisis revisited: Historical Notes on Modern ‘Obesity Epidemic’

    Michael Gard

    Part C: Theory

    Chapter 8- Devil Pray: Fat Studies in an Obesity Research World

    Cat Pausé

    Chapter 9- Not the Medicine Needed? Governing Women’s Bodies via Exercise Prescription

    Richard Pringle

    Chapter 10- New Materialist Enactment

    Simone Fullagar, Emma Rich, and Niamh NI Shuilleabhain

    Chapter 11- Doing Fat with Post-Developmental Pedagogies

    Nicole Land

    Chapter 12- A Personal Reflection on Editing: ‘Unmasking’ The Critical Obesity Researcher against Itself

    Michael Gard

    Part D: Food

    Chapter 13- Sweetening the ‘War on Obesity’

    Karen Throsby

    Chapter 14- Obesity and its Cures as Socio-Ecological Fixes for Agro-Food Capitalism

    Julie Guthman

    Chapter 15- Encountering ‘Healthy’ Food in Mexican Schools

    Jose Tenorio

    Chapter 16- Navigating the ‘Norma’ In Food Experiences and Healthy Lifestyles of Chines International Students in Australia

    Bonnie Pang

    Chapter 17- School Food in Australia- A Dog’s Breakfast?
    Deana Leahy, Jan Wright, Jo Lindsay, Claire Tanner, JaneMaree Maher and Sian Supski

    Chapter 18- Obesity and the Proper Meal at Workplace. French and English at the Table and (or Beyond) The Culturalist Explanation

    Jean-Pierre Poulain and Cyrille Laporte

    Chapter 19- Junk Food Marketing, Childhood Obesity and the Production of (Un)certainty)

    Darren Powell

    Part E: Bodies

    Chapter 20- (Re)defining Language: ‘Fat’, ‘Overweight’ , and ‘Obese’ Identities

    Aimee B. Simpson

    Chapter 21- Skinny Selves in a Fat Obsessed World

    Susan Greenhalgh
    Chapter 22- The Ubiquity of the Experience of Being ‘Too Fat’: Perspectives from Young People in Germany

    Eva Barlosius

    Chapter 23- A Mother of a Problem: Addressing the Gendering of Obesity Panic

    George Parker

    Chapter 24- Fighting Fat in Families

    Lisette Burrows

    Chapter 25- Goldilocks Days: Optimal Activity Mixes in Australian Children

    Tim Olds, Dorothea Dumuid and Melissa Wake

    Chapter 26- Fat Activism and Physical Activity

    Jenny Ellison

    Chapter 27- Wayfinding Obesity within the ‘VA’ of Critical Beauty

    Fetaui Iosefo

    Part F: Media

    Chapter 28- News Reporting on the ‘Obesity Epidemic’ and How it Worsens Weight-Based Stigma

    Abigail C. Saguy

    Chapter 29- The Spectacle of Obesity in Reality Makeover Shows in Chile

    Valeria Radrigán and Tania Orellana

    Chapter 30- The Rise of the Carnivore Diet: And the Fetishizing of Ingidenous Foodways

    Travis Hay and Jennifer Poudrier

    Chapter 31- A Study of An Anti-Obesity, Anti-Obesity Campaign

    Jessica Lee and Benjamin Williams

    Part G: Policies

    Chapter 32- Evidence as a Fig Leaf: Obesity Policies and Institutional Filters in Denmark

    Signild Vallgårda

    Chapter 33- The Metabolic Rift Between Culture and Liberalism in Obesity Interventions and Policy

    Megan Warin

    Chapter 34- A Matter of Weight? Anti-Obesity Strategies in Spain

    Mabel Gracia-Arnaiz

    Chapter 35- New Language, Old Assumptions: The Shape Shifting Language in British Columbia’s Physical and Health Education Curricula

    LeAnne Petherick and Moss E. Norman

    Chapter 36- The Ethics of Obesity Policy

    T. M. Wilson

    Part H: Future Directions

    Chapter 37- Frameworks and Ideologies for Fat Non-Discrimination Rights

    Anna Kirkland

    Chapter 38- Changing Attitudes: A Review and Critique of Weight Stigma Intervention Research

    Patricia Cain, Ngaire Donaghue and Graeme Ditchburn

    Chapter 39- A Critique of Obesity as a Category of Malnutrition in All its Forms

    Gyorgy Scrinis



    Michael Gard is Associate Professor of Sport, Health and Physical Education in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia.

    Darren Powell is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    José Tenorio is an Associate Lecturer at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia.