Embodied Childhood in the Health-promoting School

Jo Pike, Derek Colquhoun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In the UK over recent years, the issue of childhood obesity has dominated the public health agenda with a proliferation of government policies and initiatives aimed at stemming the year-on-year increase in childhood obesity and overweight. Underpinning much of these efforts is an approach which centres on modifying the lifestyles of individuals and which has been widely critiqued by academics for some time (Crawford 1986, Naidoo 1986, Rodmell and Watt 1986, Kickbusch 1989, Colquhoun and Robottom 1990). Attempts at lifestyle modification are regarded as explicitly rooted in a victim-blaming ethos, accompanied by a moral evangelism which demonises those whose bodies fail to conform to expected norms (Evans 2006, Leahy 2009). Conversely, health promotion literature has stressed the role that structural factors, such as the environment, play in contributing to health outcomes (Naidoo 1986, Dahlgren and Whitehead 1991). Health geographers have also extended their analysis beyond the immediate environment to explore the ways in which space relates to embodied experiences of health and illness (Parr and Butler 1999, Moss and Dyck 2002). Others have proposed the concept of the ‘obesogenic’ environment to explore the effects of the physical environment on children’s bodies (Egger and Swinburn 1997, Lake and Townsend 2006).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContested Bodies of Childhood and Youth
EditorsKathrin Hörschelmann, Rachel Colls
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780230274747
ISBN (Print)9780230201385, 9781349299508
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


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