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AN INCOMPLETE DISCUSSION ON THE COSTS OF OBESITY
Vilaça, Murilo Mariano | Date Issued: 2016
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Escola Politécnica de Saúde Joaquim Venâncio. Laboratório de Formação Geral na Educação Profissional em Saúde. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.
Despite growing scientific interest in obesity and the uncritical nature of a considerable proportion of the scientific community, a variety of other researchers have queried the idea of an epidemic of obesity. Some of this questioning has highlighted the uncertain moral and ideological nature of the biomedical arguments about the risks of obesity. It should be researchers’ responsibility to question whether the hegemonic discourse against obesity has led to a process of stigmatization and apportionment of blame, such that obese individuals are judged as having socially expensive, lazy and dangerous bodies that they do not take care of, and as being bad bio-citizens. It may therefore be of interest, in addition to discussing the onus of obesity, to identify and debate who the “economic problem of obesity” is of concern or interest to, and also who profits (politically and economically) from maintaining this state or combating it. The aim of the present text was not to establish methodological judgment over papers that have addressed the costs associated with obesity. Our objectives were: 1) to establish a critique of the non-explicit discourse that stems from these investigations; and 2) to reveal the set of factors that contribute towards such expenditure.