Insecurity, social dynamic and obesity

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Increasing attention is being paid to the link between insecurity and obesity. The link is, however, still mainly described on national level as causal connections between social security and prevalence of obesity. This is the claim presented by Offer and colleges in their book Insecurity, Inequality and obesity where market liberal states are shown to have higher levels of insecurity compared to welfare states, such as the Nordic countries.

This connection remains rather abstract: why and how this connection works are unanswered questions, especially when moving from state level to social or individual level. In this manner, the connection also remains out of reach and hard to act upon.

In the cross disciplinary field of obesity research, where biomedical world views and large scale quantitative analyzes are dominating, the sociology of health and illness have an important role to play in attempts to understand how structural conditions affect individual and family-level health behavior.

Insecurity is becoming a widespread prerequisite in an increasing number of people’s lives under the current economic crisis. At the same time, European governments make cuts on welfare and health budgets. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand the connection between insecurity and obesity at the level where health behavior is enacted, in order to know how to counter health problems that will assumingly grow as social security levels decrease.

This presentation presents preliminary results from a literature review attempting to shed light on the empirical evidence of the social insecurity-obesity link and how and maybe even why it works. On that background, I will present what I have called the sociological shortcoming in the literature and, by presenting examples from a qualitative study, address relevant aspects in need of investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date26 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2015
EventESA 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 25 Aug 201528 Aug 2015


ConferenceESA 12th Conference of the European Sociological Association 2015
CountryCzech Republic

ID: 148182585