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BSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference -Mixed Audience


From Influencing the Obesogenic Environment to Shaping Healthy Everyday Life: Theories of Practice and Public Health Nearly two-thirds of adults (63%) in England were classed as being overweight or obese in 2015. By 2050, obesity is predicted to affect 60% of men, 50% of women, and 25% of children in the UK. Arguments about the social determinants of health have encouraged public health interventions targeted at the obesogenic environment, or what has more recently been called the food environment. Interventions include increasing taxes on city centre shops and restaurants deemed to be selling unhealthy foods and on influencing the food environment so that healthier options are more accessible, available and affordable. Such interventions fail to capture the significance of changes to the composition of everyday life that matter for when, where, and how people consume in particular places. Building on the idea of the obesogenic environment and an emerging interest in theories of practice and public health, this paper argues that rising rates of obesity, and what is known as the obesogenic environment itself, are better conceptualised as outcomes of changes in the composition of practices that make up everyday life and the material arrangements and interwoven timespaces that underpin them. The policy implications of such an approach are that public health interventions should be extended beyond shaping the obesogenic environment to shaping the composition of everyday life.

Event (Conference)

TitleBSA Medical Sociology Group Annual Conference
LocationUniversity of York
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event