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Governing health and consumptionSensible citizens, behaviour and the city$
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Clare Herrick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426383

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426383.001.0001

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Obesity and strategies of rule

Obesity and strategies of rule

(p.51) Four Obesity and strategies of rule
Governing health and consumption

Clare Herrick

Policy Press

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

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