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By Akram PA

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Their chapter draws from various disciplines, though it is particularly indebted to geography (specifically children’s geographies, post-medical geographies and the geography of embodiment). Among other things, their work furthers debate by challenging the idea, common in geography, that ‘bodies are merely dots on maps’ to be subjected to spatial analysis in the service of highly problematic (anti-)obesity policy. Of course, schools and associated policies are only part of the broader range of contexts that monitor children’s bodies and their embodied practices.

This not only reveals the pervasiveness of obesity discourse but also implores us to reconsider issues of agency and resistance as multi-directional in diverse settings. In seeking to develop Emma Rich, Lee F. Monaghan and Lucy Aphramor 27 the obesity debate, rather than offer definitive conclusions, their chapter engages ‘broader questions concerning the theorisation of surveillance and resistance’. Following our earlier references to fat activism, Chapter 7, by Charlotte Cooper, charts successive waves of the fat lib movement on both sides of the Atlantic over the past four decades.

Interestingly, they also highlight how larger women in their study sometimes reframed fatness in more positive ways albeit under constraints and at the risk of negating their femininity. The ethical implications of obesity discourse for children are discussed in the next two chapters. This is important given the centrality of childhood, understood as a critical period in the lifecourse, to the social construction of the crisis in space and time. Chapter 5, by Bethan Evans and Rachel Colls, critically explores the implications of ‘collapsing time’ between childhood and adulthood as part of current medicalised and government concerns to defuse the ‘obesity time bomb’.

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