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Friday, August 04, 2017


Based on a critical review of the obesity and health literature we provide
five models of how the hypothesized obesity and health relationship is
conceptualized. We then apply these models to make sense of how recent
Canadian public health reports and clinical practice guidelines conceptualize
the issue of obesity, its causes and health effects, and appropriate
We show how conformity to dominant models of the obesity and health
relationship by health sciences researchers, public health workers, and
the media lead to activities that rather than promoting health, actually
threaten it. These dominant models – and the activities derived from
them – do so by diverting attention from the far more important issues
of the quality and distribution of the social determinants of health.
These approaches also stigmatize heavy individuals, doing little to
promote their health. For these reasons, we call for an end to seeing
obesity as a significant health issue.

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