13 January 2009

Anti-obesity campaigns: Healthy Towns vs Fat Town Pride

I'm moderately obsessed with places that are reputed to be the fattest towns and cities. The National Centre for Social Research, 2000-2002 reported that my home borough of Newham was the fattest in London, although now I believe that Tower Hamlets may have pipped us to the post. Dr Foster's map of "obesity hotspots" provides plenty to wonder about.

Anyway, I was digging through a box of clippings this week and I found this report from 2006 that raised an eyebrow. The quoted sources hint at the shaming and stigmatising of working class neighbourhoods that is inherent when remote "obesity" do-gooders interfere. I'm glad the report embraces local people's defiance of the map.

Bizarrely, the obesity hotspot map referred to here is the product of work by a credit reference company. Why would Experion want this? I notice this report name-checks the Dr Foster map reported a year later by the BBC. What's that about? Is there more than one map? Ehhhh…

Edited to add: Oh my god, I just found the UK map to fat dogs! The PDSA take fat panic to a whole new level.

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