Governing obesities – interdisciplinary obesity research in practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Background: Obesity is a complex problem demanding complex solutions.
This proposal stands at the centre of the large interdisciplinary research consortia “Governing Obesity” at the University of Copenhagen. Researchers
from different parts of biomedicine, the social sciences and the humanities
seek to develop novel means and methods to treat and prevent obesity and
its consequences.The expectation is that these interdisciplinary collaborations will lead to effective interventions at the societal and individual level.
A part of our involvement in this initiative has been to investigate how interdisciplinary obesity research is done in practice and how scientific claims
and translational aspirations are interpretated and negotiated across disciplines. Method: Through ethnographic fieldwork including focus groups
and interviews, it is explored how obesity as a research object is operationalised in interdisciplinary research collaboration.
Results: Interdisciplinary collaboration does not necessarily work upon a
common perception of what obesity is, epistemological openness or data
integration. Rather, we argue that complexity-oriented interdisciplinary
collaboration raise questions about where to locate the “interdisciplinarity” and its effects. We find that an qualification of interdisciplinary obesity
research requires an attendance to of how different “obesities” come to
co-exist in different and new ways through collaboration. Interdisciplinary obesity research in practice demands: 1. strategic balancing of academic investments between individual, collective goals. 2. the ability to
embody and maintain monodisciplinary identities and indexes. 3. a clear
articulation of what constitutes research practice standards for each participant. These points can guide the development of evaluation measures
for intersdiciplinary research
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObesity Facts
Publication date2015
Edition(suppl 1):1-272
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 241944231