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Schools, Corporations, and the War on Childhood Obesity


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Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgements; 1: Corporations and the 'war on childhood obesity'; 2: Schooling the childhood obesity 'crisis'; 3: The corporate 'gift' of healthy lifestyles; 4: 'Coming together' to solve obesity; 5: The new 'experts' in children's health and education; 6: Learning about health, fatness, and 'good' choices; 7: Shaping the (un)healthy child-consumer; 8: Conclusions; Methodological appendix: A critical ethnography; Index

About the Author

Darren Powell is a senior lecturer in the School of Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.


There are many organisations and actors who purport to be taking action for children and healthy lifestyles but who on closer examination turn out to be part of the problem as much as any solution. In Schools, Corporations and the War on Childhood Obesity, Darren Powell draws on research and scholarship to tenaciously address that most crucial of questions: whose interests are being served? This will be an uncomfortable book for many who work in this area, but it is a compelling wakeup call for our times. Professor Martin Thrupp, School of Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand Dr Powell has written a powerful and urgent book that traces the way modern schools manage or mis-manage their entangles with corporations, government, charities and the like. I particularly found his work with school students moving. Sometimes, students will tell you the most interesting, astounding and critical interpretation of what going on education today. Dr Powell also mixes his ethnographic, analysis and literary skills to produce a thoughtful, patient and, in the end, crucial book.Associate Professor Michael Gard (author of The End of the Obesity Epidemic), School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, AustraliaThis book makes a unique and invaluable contribution to this body of work through its comprehensive 'disentangling' of the activities of corporations and selling so-called 'solutions' to the 'obesity epidemic'. Filled with rich ethnographic data, this volume provides a very readable and convincing account that needs to be read by all parents and teachers.Emeritus Professor Jan Wright, School of Education, University of Wollongong, AustraliaDarren Powell shows through evidence from his own ethnographic research in schools the worrying trends and increasingly blurred lines between education, entertainment and advertising. This excellent book is a must read for all teachers (especially health and physical education teachers) and school administrators who are looking to unscramble and resist the corporate pedagogies that are reshaping primary school education - and children..Emeritus Professor Richard Tinning, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia

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