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Accepted Paper:

'Health crisis' in the Kingdom of Tonga: critical observations on the obesity issue  
Gaia Cottino (Università degli studi di Genova)

Paper long abstract:

During the past decade the Obesity issue has been under the International Organizations' spotlight.

According to the 2007 WHO Report on Obesity the six "fattest" Countries are all located in Oceania, which created a state of alarm.

"Obesity is a potential crisis on the scale of climate change", "obesity epidemics", "obesity represents a greater threat then weapons of mass destruction" are just a few of the numerous institutional comments on the issue.

This paper, through the presentation of an ethnographic fieldwork in the Kingdom of Tonga- at the fifth place for obesity according to the WHO Report- will critically analyze, from one side, the political construction of the obesity crisis, with particular attention to the BMI debate and the real local health problems, and, on the other side, the "therapeutic practices", usually planned elsewhere, and their results on the population's health and wellbeing.

Panel IW006
Medical knowledge, health, crises, and processes of diversification
  Session 1