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ERIC Number: EJ1079238
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
The Governmentality of Childhood Obesity: Coca-Cola, Public Health and Primary Schools
Powell, Darren; Gard, Michael
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v36 n6 p854-867 2015
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".
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A