Chapter

Constructing the obesity epidemic: loose science, money and public health

Alison Hann and Stephen Peckham

in Public health ethics and practice

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9781847421029
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303114 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847421029.003.0008
Constructing the obesity epidemic: loose science, money and public health

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This chapter examines the way obesity has been constructed as a public health problem. It suggests that this depiction of obesity contains masked value judgements and the evidence base for it is weak. It looks at the moral questions surrounding a public health policy that rests on equivocal evidence and discusses the stigma against overweight and obese people. It argues that the medicalisation of obesity represents a new version of Calvinism where restraint and control have become a central plank in the new public health.

Keywords: obesity; public health; value judgements; health policy; obese persons; medicalisation; Calvinism

Chapter.  6813 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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