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Type: Journal article
Title: Gendered and class relations of obesity: Confusing findings, deficient explanations
Author: Broom, D.
Warin, M.
Citation: Australian Feminist Studies, 2011; 26(70):453-467
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0816-4649
Statement of
Dorothy H. Broom and Megan Warin
Abstract: Rising attention to the 'social determinants of health' puts questions of gender and class squarely on the public health agenda. Most health outcomes and health risk factors are inversely correlated with social class: people with better education, better jobs and higher incomes typically enjoy better health. By comparison, gender differences in health are quite variable, depending on the health outcome or risk of interest. Furthermore, the distribution of any given risk factor tends to vary from society to society, from time to time, and between specific sub-populations. Public health research rarely considers class and gender together. In this paper we summarise and problematise the interplay between gender and class in empirical research on the 'problem' of obesity. We suggest that some of the difficulties in explaining research findings arise from limitations in the evidence base used to measure obesity, conceptual 'slippage' between key terms like gender and sex, and an erasure of social class from academic language. It is via an examination of these issues that underpin current obesity research that we offer more innovative and effective ways to approach the underlying theoretical and health promotion problems. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the considerable practical and intellectual challenges of analysing and reporting social determinants like gender and class in an environment that demands certain kinds of scientific evidence.
Rights: © 2011 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0020115806
DOI: 10.1080/08164649.2011.621177
Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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