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Around the world, we find ourselves facing global epidemics of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other predominantly diet-related diseases. To address these public health crises, we urgently need to explore innovative strategies for promoting healthful eating. There is strong evidence that global increases in the consumption of heavily processed foods, coupled with cultural shifts away from the preparation of food in the home, have contributed to high rates of preventable, chronic disease. In this course, learners will be given the information and practical skills they need to begin optimizing the way they eat.

This course will shift the focus away from reductionist discussions about nutrients and move, instead, towards practical discussions about real food and the environment in which we consume it. By the end of this course, learners should have the tools they need to distinguish between foods that will support their health and those that threaten it.

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In addition, we will present a compelling rationale for a return to simple home cooking, an integral part of our efforts to live longer, healthier lives. It was very informative course. It could have more quizzes and assignments. The way things were explained in the course was quiet interesting. Keep it up!!

I really like this way of education. It was an amazing course that allowed for me to be much more conscious of what I was eating and pushed me to strive to achieve a healthier lifestyle. They have differing statuses and values across history. Moreover, the many cross-cultural examples of fatness which are not related to health similarly highlight completely different cultural registers, values and meanings attributed to large bodies.

The medical term obesity was not used until the 17th century by Thomas Venner in his book Via Recta , 27 and mostly in relation to the desire of the Caucasian upper classes to maintain status. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the word corpulence was popularised by the English undertaker William Banting in Letter on corpulence, addressed to the public With the rise of global capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a preference for slender bodies came to the fore, and all forms of fatness became morally judged and stigmatised; obesity was no longer associated with opulence and wealth, but pathologised as a medical condition.

Further refinement of these imperfect standard measures of obesity led to formalisation of the BMI in by the WHO for international monitoring 8 and, more popularly, for assessment of individual health. Hippocrates and Galen did name some types of fatness as a disease and recommended certain diets and exercise to balance bodily humours. These Classical meanings attributed to fatness and the accompanying remedies were very different to contemporary understandings of biomedical bodies and treatments.

Obesity - Wikipedia

However, a danger in seeing a continuity of obesity across historical periods lies in the recourse to personal responsibility, where diet and exercise continue to be touted as a key solution. One of the key findings of the Senate Select Committee inquiry into the obesity epidemic in Australia was that policy and practice approaches that focus on individual responsibility have not worked. New approaches to address obesity are needed. This creates an opportunity for the weight loss industry to put diet medications on the same level as other medical procedures, and for diets and surgical interventions to be paid for through health insurance premiums, thus profiting commercial interests and insurers, not the public.

Meanings of fatness and obesity are plural and have changed across history and within and between cultures. History Obesity. The politics of disease: Obesity in historical perspective. Background Scholarship across the humanities and social and life sciences has documented a wide variety of historical, sociocultural and medical attitudes to large bodies, including both positive and negative associations.

Objective The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the historical trajectory of obesity as a disease in a Western context. Discussion Discussions about whether obesity should be classified as a disease have been ongoing. Many scholars regard the early Greeks as the first to identify obesity as a disease, and trace changing manifestations of obesity from Classical times through the Middle Ages and Age of Enlightenment to contemporary times. This trajectory of obesity as a disease is contentious, and in light of recent moves to attribute disease status to obesity in Australia, this article outlines the politics and value of classifying obesity as a disease.

Histories of fat, flesh and obesity Fatness has always been around — but has not always been called obesity or considered a disease.

A Sociocultural History of Obesity

Implications Hippocrates and Galen did name some types of fatness as a disease and recommended certain diets and exercise to balance bodily humours. Competing interests: None. Provenance and peer review: Commissioned, externally peer reviewed. Acknowledgements This article has benefited from the exchange of intellectual ideas with Dr Tanya Zivkovic and the NutrireCoLab, an international organisation of mainly anthropologists who engage with obesity, diabetes and social justice.

References Parliament of Australia. Final report: Obesity epidemic in Australia. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, Weighing it up: Obesity in Australia.

Is obesity a disease? Int J Obes ;25 10 — Why is obesity such a political issue?


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In: Fatness, obesity and disadvantage in the Australian suburbs: Unpalatable politics. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, ; p. An overview of the complexities in obesity: Limitations and challenges.


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