Abstract

The 2008 introduction of the special health checkup (tokutei kenkō shinsa) signaled a major shift in Japan’s health policy away from a high-risk approach toward a population approach based on the epidemiological probability of contracting a disease. This article places the government’s concern with mapping obesity within its longstanding interest in surveying the national physique and sociological debates on risk in late modernity. The empirical case study outlines the making of the obesity crisis, its main actors, and their interests. Far from being an objective risk, obesity emerges as a social construct and a major apparatus of neoliberal politics through which individuals are encouraged to engage in self-regulation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-4721
Print ISSN
0095-6848
Pages
pp. 55-84
Launched on MUSE
2012-02-01
Open Access
No
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