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Eating yourself sick in pregnancy: why it would be NICE to understand the historical context

1 Aug, 10 | by Deborah Kirklin

Earlier this month the UK’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence produced very welcome guidance  for all of those who have a direct or indirect role in, and responsibility for women who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy and mothers who have had a baby in the last 2 years.

As a GP I welcome this guidance. Like everyone working in healthcare in the UK today I am acutely aware of the importance of this issue. Nevertheless I find myself asking where, amongst all the important and interesting information in this guidance is the historical context for the nutritional status of pregnant women? How, in other words, did we move, within a matter of two or three generations, from a time when the health of babies and mothers were threatened by insufficient calories and nutrition to a time when a surfeit is now the problem? more…

Saving Momma Boone’s Blushes: a Cutting Edge look at Obese Bodies

8 Dec, 09 | by Deborah Kirklin

Are you watching carefully? Then I’ll begin. I’ll show you how you think and feel about fat bodies. Really fat bodies, the one’s that get doctors and politicians vexed, the ones that their owners sometimes hide away from public view, the ones that no one wants to own. Make yourself comfortable, line up those TV-time snacks, and settle in for this week’s episode of Nip/Tuck, because it’s time to be educated on just what fat means. All that and more from one of the more popular of the American medical soaps, if, that is, the authors of a paper published in the December issue of Medical Humanities are to be believed. more…

Understanding childhood obesity:the Wellcome Trust film and video archive goes digital

13 Dec, 08 | by Deborah Kirklin

I’m grateful to Christy Henshaw for letting me know about an exciting new project from the Wellcome Trust. So far about 100 films from the Trust’s vast archive of film and video have been digitalised and can be viewed by anyone, free-of-charge, on-line. 

A brief glance at the titles led me to a fascinating insight into how the British Medical Association, in 1967, tried to engage with the public about growing concerns regarding childhood obesity. The way in which the issue of childhood obesity is framed in the film- including the language used and the overt and unashamed signaling that allowing a child to be fat both stigmatises them and threatens their health- will surely enrich the thinking of contemporary medical humanities scholars interested in the so-called obesity epidemic.

To see this clip click on the link below.

Cruel Kindness

The list of available titles in the Wellcome Library Catalogue can be seen by following the link below. This resource will shortly be available via Flash Player which should make access easier.

Full details, from Christy, follow.


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