The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools

Powell, Darren and Gard, Michael (2015) The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 36 6: 854-867. doi:10.1080/01596306.2014.905045


Author Powell, Darren
Gard, Michael
Title The governmentality of childhood obesity: Coca-Cola, public health and primary schools
Journal name Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0159-6306
1469-3739
Publication date 2015
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/01596306.2014.905045
Volume 36
Issue 6
Start page 854
End page 867
Total pages 14
Place of publication Oxon United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Abstract In this paper, we examine the emergence of what might seem an unexpected policy outcome - a large multinational corporation, frequently blamed for exacerbating childhood obesity, operating as an officially sanctioned driver of anti-obesity initiatives in primary schools across the globe. We draw on Foucault's notion of governmentality to examine the pedagogical work of two international programmes devised and funded by Coca-Cola. We demonstrate how these programmes work simultaneously as marketing campaigns and as governmental strategies to position children as responsible for their own health, conflate (ill)health with body weight and strategically employ the concept of energy balance. We argue that these programmes not only act to unite the interests of corporations, governments and schools, but also seek to use schools to reshape the very ideas of health and a 'healthy life'. We conclude by considering two sets of ethical and political issues that come sharply as corporations like Coca-Cola continue to exploit the policy space created by the 'obesity epidemic'. © 2014
Keyword Childhood obesity
Corporations
Governmentality
Health education
Neoliberalism
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 20 Jan 2015, 12:15:55 EST by Ms Kate Rowe on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences