What’s Wrong With the ‘War on Obesity?’ A Narrative Review of the Weight-Centered Health Paradigm and Development of the 3C Framework to Build Critical Competency for a Paradigm Shift
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Discourse about health that focuses predominantly on body weight is referred to as the weight-centered health paradigm (WCHP). In recent years, there has been a significant increase in critical analysis of the WCHP. This has resulted in arguments for a paradigm shift away from focusing on weight and focusing instead on health and well-being. The aim of this study was to identify, critique, and synthesize the values, claims, and assumptions of the WCHP and to develop a framework to be used as a heuristic for building competency to critique the WCHP. Qualitative content analysis of the literature was used to identify themes, relationships between themes, and structure of the framework. The resulting WCHP 3C Framework encompasses the context, critiques, and consequences of the WCHP. The context includes the promulgators and tenets of the WCHP. Critiques of the WCHP raise ideological, empirical, and technical concerns. Consequences of the WCHP include an enhanced adipophobicogenic environment, reduced health and well-being, and reduced quality of life. If used as a heuristic to enhance critical competence, the WCHP 3C Framework may help contribute to a paradigm shift in weight science.