"I would have switched off if it was just government legislation." The Simpsons and the teaching of public health policy

S. Chipperfield, P. Woodcock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


This paper presents an example of how to successfully engage health professions students in the teaching of public health policy and political thought by examining an episode of The Simpsons in which Marge Simpson, worried about rising obesity levels in Springfield, petitions for a ban on sugar food products to promote health in the city. This example is then linked to J.S. Mill's 'Harm Principle' to enable students to discuss other potential applications to public health policy and state intervention such as the smoking ban, alcohol laws and schools' restriction of children's meals to healthy options. An outline of the method used to enlighten students about topical health issues and an evaluation of the students' feedback is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Health Promotion and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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