Translating obesity: Navigating the front lines of the "war on fat"

Sarah Trainer, Alexandra Slade, Daniel Hruschka, Deborah Williams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objectives: Obesity is treated within medicine, public health, and applied sciences as a biomedical fact with urgent health implications; obesity is also, however, a social fact and one that reveals biomedical concerns can lead to social suffering. Translation of social science-oriented obesity research for broader public good requires navigation of the space between these polemical and seemingly mutually exclusive positions. Methods: Using examples from our own current programs of biocultural research, we explain the opportunities and ongoing challenges of efforts to bridge the chasm between critique and intervention when the topic under discussion is obesity. The examples range from cross-population analyses of human variation and the implications for how we measure and classify obesity to biocultural research into fat-stigma to translational research conducted as part of a larger collaboration across multiple institutions. Results and Conclusions: Translation of social science-oriented obesity research for broader public good requires collaborative work across disciplines and fields, as well as between academics, professionals working in public health and medicine, policy makers, and other key stakeholders. Translation efforts must acknowledge and develop practical programs addressing the "obesity crisis," but also are compelled to question core assumptions upon which obesity-reduction interventions have thus far been based. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 27:61-68, 2015.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)61-68
    Number of pages8
    JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
    Volume27
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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    obesity
    fat
    Obesity
    Fats
    lipids
    public health
    social science
    social sciences
    Social Sciences
    medicine
    Research
    applied science
    health science
    Public Health
    Medicine
    Translational Medical Research
    stakeholder
    Warfare
    Health Policy
    research programs

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Anatomy
    • Genetics
    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

    Cite this

    Translating obesity : Navigating the front lines of the "war on fat". / Trainer, Sarah; Slade, Alexandra; Hruschka, Daniel; Williams, Deborah.

    In: American Journal of Human Biology, Vol. 27, No. 1, 01.01.2015, p. 61-68.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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