‘One-size-fits-all’? A Situational Analysis of Weight-Related Issues in Schools

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Many researchers have explored the impact or effectiveness of eating disorder and obesity prevention programs in schools. Few, however, have investigated integrated prevention efforts, and despite recommendations to shift the focus to environmental or systemic change, even fewer researchers have considered the broader situation of weight-related issues. In this study, I intend to address this gap by exploring how weight-related issues are negotiated in schools, and what institutional and social practices influence their construction. I used situational analysis to develop a broader picture of the complexities of the situation and the differences or tensions extant. Analysis of multiple sources of data such as research literature, participant interviews, personal memos, and educational curricula/policy documents contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of the elements within the situation. Mapping processes involved in situational analysis indicated multiple tensions involved in promoting health in relation to weight in schools, and highlighted the importance of opening-up conversations amongst various stakeholders involved in the situation. Findings also emphasized the importance of exploring ways to (a) promote acceptance of all bodies, and (b) change policies or practices that contribute to the stigmatization of individuals based on body size.
Education--Health, Psychology
Ireland, A. (2016). ‘One-size-fits-all’? A Situational Analysis of Weight-Related Issues in Schools (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/27176