Weight of Modernity: An Intergenerational Study of the Rise of Obesity / Edition 1

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More About This Textbook


Over a half of adults in the US, Canada, Australia and numerous European countries are now overweight or obese, a proportion that has risen sharply in the past two decades. Even in developing countries like Thailand, up to one third of adults are overweight or obese. This book offers a perspective that sees increasing obesity as a social phenomenon as well as a public health problem. The authors are persuaded that obesity is a condition of modernisation: an inevitable and unintended consequence of economic development. Typically, economic development spawns a transition from old communicable diseases to new chronic conditions because it brings affluence, longevity and health damaging behaviours such as smoking, inactivity, and over-nutrition. Many Western countries exemplify the circumstances that give rise to diseases of modernity. This study brings together in-depth interview data with various lines of sociological enquiry to produce greater clarity about the social patterning of obesity and strategies for its mitigation. By deploying concepts from French theorist Bourdieu, along with gender studies and cultural economy theorising, we add the historical, structural and experiential dimensions to investigate an issue usually reduced to individual behavioural risk factors.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789048189564
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Edition description: 2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The big Australian: obesity in the modern world.- Chapter 2. An intergenerational study design.- Chapter 3. From habit to choice: Transformations in family dining.- Chapter 4. How convenience is shaping Australian diets: The disappearing dessert.- Chapter 5.From social leisure to exhaustion: a tale of two revolutions.- Chapter 6. Fitness marginalises fun and friendship.- Chapter 7. The rise of automobility.- Chapter 8. The weight of time: from full to fragmented in 50 years.- Chapter 9. Social forces shaping life chances and life choices.- Chapter 10. Restoring coherence to a stressed social system.

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