This article presents an analysis of two related Australian government-sponsored “obesity” prevention campaigns, including documents produced by commercial social research companies reporting the formative research and evaluation of these campaigns. This material is critically analyzed for its underlying assumptions about weight “obesity” and the public’s health-related behaviors and beliefs. These include the following: the concept of “good health” has meaning and value that is universally shared; to be “overweight” or “obese” is to be physically unfit and at risk of higher levels of disease and early death; individuals are responsible for their own health status; individuals lack appropriate information about health risks and providing this information leads to behavior change; and information should be provided in a way that arouses concern and a belief that individuals should make a change. These assumptions are challenged from a critical sociological perspective.
Lupton, D. (2014). “How do you Measure up?” Assumptions about “obesity” and health-related behaviors and beliefs in two Australian “obesity” prevention campaigns. Fat Studies, 3(1), 32–44. https://doi.org/10.1080/21604851.2013.784050