Governing Obesity – University of Copenhagen

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Governing Obesity

Governing Obesity is an interdisciplinary research project involving five faculties based at the University of Copenhagen (UCPH Excellence Programme for Interdisciplinary Research).

The overall aim of Governing Obesity is to provide new means and innovative methods to treat as well as prevent obesity and its consequences, while avoiding unintended and negative effects. This is done via interventions at both the societal and individual levels, from early-stage overweight to morbid obesity.

The Humanistic Health Research Group contributes to this research by exploring how health and illness are shaped, experienced, and understood in everyday life, considering
issues related to compliance and intervention in practice. Moreover, the focus is on the cultures of medicine, examining how scientific claims are negotiated and interpreted in interdisciplinary settings.

Lifestyle routines (Work package 3)
Work package 3 is structured around a randomised controlled trial (RCT) that is investigating the health benefits of different types of physical activity in everyday life.

Using ethnographic fieldwork, PhD fellow Jonas Winther explores how research participants and trial staff collectively configure the trajectories of the trial, as well as how lifestyle interventions and routines materialise at the intersection between everyday life and laboratory practices.
Read more about work package 3 at

Obesities: exploring and practicing interdisciplinarity (Work package 5)
This work package analyses the production of interdisciplinary knowledge about obesity. Using ethnographic fieldwork, postdoc Line Hillersdal explores how obesity as a phenomena is formed and handled by interdisciplinary research teams, and analyses the diverse ways that obesity emerges as an object of intervention.

Read more about work package 5 at