Routledge Handbook of Critical Obesity Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Critical Obesity Studies

ISBN 9780367362447
Published December 31, 2021 by Routledge
422 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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


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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.