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Public health ethics and practice$
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Stephen Peckham and Alison Hann

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421029

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421029.001.0001

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date: 20 August 2017

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

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

Chapter:
(p.117) EIGHT Constructing the obesity epidemic: loose science, money and public health
Source:
Public health ethics and practice
Author(s):

Alison Hann

Stephen Peckham

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847421029.003.0008

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

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