18 October 2010

Lifestyle versus socio-economic causes of the rise in obesity


In HIA we have tended to focus on the physical environmental factors that have reduced physical activity and access to fresh fruit and vegetables - the so-called 'obesogenic environment'. We generally focus much less on the way society is structured and how that might affect levels of obesity and the often subconscious worldviews embedded in the advocacy of certain forms of health interventions.

Farming Pathogens has an interesting article titled 'How Mayor Bloomberg causes obesity'.

The article argues that lifestyle focused interventions e.g. the focus on making welfare recipients eat healthily by not allowing them to buy 'junk' food using food vouchers ignores the socio-economic context within which health choices are made and how 'stressful environments' create the conditions for people to almost be 'self-medicating' on sugar and salt.