Children’s Perception of a Healthy Life and the Outcome of Danish Health Promotion ProgrammesBørns forståelse af det sunde liv og udfaldet af danske sundhedsfremmekurser
During the past decades, the number of overweight and obese individuals has increased throughout the Danish population. This fact has led to a strong political focus on health promotion especially among children and adolescents to prevent further escalation. The prevailing political point of view on the matter has deducted the following conclusion: Expansion on the waistline equals expansion on the state budget due to low labour capacity and high costs on social services and health care. Where the food industry finds profit potential in the population’s love for (good) food, the State fears chaos and a need to act before the so-called obesity epidemic becomes uncontrollable. Governmental health priorities are reproduced in local council family programmes where children and their parents are offered a chance to gain inspiration and knowledge about a healthier lifestyle and are provided tools to re-establish a better health attitude. When scrutinizing children’s health attitudes, knowledge and behaviour it becomes clear that a variety of mechanisms in children’s everyday life and social environment determine and characterize children’s health status and that some of these mechanisms constitute a health understanding that is characterized by a somewhat larger complexity. The aim of this paper is to present some of the main discussions of my Ph.D.-project on childhood and health understandings by asking the overall question: Does family orientated health promoting programmes help bend the obesity curve, and according to whose understanding of health is it possible to become healthier and live a good life by participating in stately financed courses?
Sundhedsfremme; sundhedspolitik; overvægt; børn og unge; mad
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International Symposium, 10th Summer School, Graduate School of Lifelong Learning, 2008