Chapter

Obesity and strategies of rule

Clare Herrick

in Governing health and consumption

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426383
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302445 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847426383.003.0004
Obesity and strategies of rule

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This chapter argues that the act and aspiration of sensible behaviour serves three strategic roles in the governance of what has been hyperbolically termed the ‘obesity epidemic’: as a collective and personal risk mitigation strategy; as a means by which to overcome individual and geographical luck; and as a driver of growth within the political economy of food and leisure. In order to ground and contextualise these assertions, the chapter explores the contrasting rhetorical and policy stances towards obesity in the two case study countries, dwelling on the controversial new vision of public health set out in late 2010 by the UK's secretary of state for health, Andrew Lansley. It also explores the contested aetiological explanations for the rise in population-scale obesity prevalence.

Keywords: obesity; personal risk mitigation; food economy; Andrew Lansley; UK; public health

Chapter.  13345 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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