A critical discourse analysis of Canadian and Australian public health recommendations promoting physical activity to children

Stephanie Alexander, John Coveney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past decades, public health has increasingly addressed what has been called the children's obesity 'epidemic', most notably through large-scale initiatives promoting physical activity. Through a discourse analysis the current paper critically examines such efforts in Canadian and Australian public health. Public health websites in Canada and Australia were examined for information concerning children's health, physical activity and obesity and explored for how these issues were represented in the discourse. Bacchi's (2009) 'What's the problem represented to be?' approach to discourse analysis guided our interrogation of the taken-for-granted assumptions underlying Canadian and Australian public health discourse, the ideological and political influences involved in its construction, and the knowledge base upon which it rests. The article calls for critical reflection on how children's physical and leisure activities are being advanced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-364
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Sociology Review
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Children's health
  • Critical public health
  • Discourse analysis
  • Sociology

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