How Canada Handles the Vending Machines

Jennings, Laura. “Public Fat: Canadian Provincial Governments and Fat on the Web.” The Fat Studies Reader, edited by Esther D. Rothblum and Sondra Solovay, NYU Press, 2009, pages 88-96.

Laura Jennings evaluated how different provinces in Canada viewed obesity and eating choices in relation to being healthy. She found that Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia viewed obesity as an epidemic and excessive fat as dangerous. British Columbia and Ontario’s views are that people should fix their behavior to improve their health and Quebec support fixing the structure of society so everyone can be healthier. In her review, she notes that Ontario removed junk food from elementary school vending machines.

Laura’s primary argument is that being fat is not really a problem, obesity is hardly an epidemic, and governments should focus more on those that are underweight in addition to overweight individuals. She looks into Canada’s most populated provinces to see how much they are doing “right” from her point of view, in comparison to the US and its very anti-fat stances. It seems flawed to analyze a government’s actions from such a biased and countercultural point of view and rather unfair. Jennings is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina.

I can use this analysis for my paper when I discuss vending machines and their promotion to increase the obesity epidemic.


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