Men and the War on Obesity: A Sociological Study

Men and the War on Obesity: A Sociological Study

by Lee F. Monaghan
     
 

Is obesity really a public health problem and what does the construction of obesity as a health problem mean for men?

According to official statistics, the majority of men in nations such as England and the USA are overweight or obese. Public health officials, researchers, governments and various agencies are alarmed and have issued dire warnings about a global

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Overview

Is obesity really a public health problem and what does the construction of obesity as a health problem mean for men?

According to official statistics, the majority of men in nations such as England and the USA are overweight or obese. Public health officials, researchers, governments and various agencies are alarmed and have issued dire warnings about a global 'Obesity epidemic' This perceived threat to public health seemingly legitimates declarations of war against what one US Surgeon General called 'the terror within'. Yet, little is known about weight-related issues among everyday men in this context of symbolic or communicated violence.

Men and the War on Obesity is an original, timely and controversial study. Using observations from a mixed-sex slimming club, interviews with men whom medicine might label overweight or obese and other sources, this study urges a rethink of weight or fat as a public health issue and sometimes private trouble. Recognizing the sociological wisdom that things are not as they seem, it challenges obesity warmongering and the many battles it mandates or incites. This important book could therefore help to change current thinking and practices not only in relation to men but also women and children who are defined as overweight, obese or too fat. It will be of interest to students and researchers of gender and the body within sociology, gender studies and cultural studies as well as public health researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415407120
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
07/31/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

List of tables ix

Acknowledgements xi

1 Introduction: Beyond militarized medicine 1

2 Bodily alignment and accounts: From excuses to repudiation 34

3 Smoking guns, wartime injury and survival: Men and dieting 73

4 McDonaldizing men's bodies? Rationalization, irrationalities and resistances 117

5 Physical activity and obesity fighting campaigns: Men's critical talk 138

6 Conclusion: Social fitness and health at every size 163

Bibliography 193

Index 206

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