Article ID: CBB293285264

Group Weight Loss and Multiple Screening: A Tale of Two Heart Disease Programs in Postwar American Public Health (2018)


In the late 1940s, amid elevated concern about heart disease and new funding to fight it, multiple screening emerged alongside group psychotherapy for weight loss as two innovative responses of the American public health community. I describe the early trajectory and fate in the 1950s of both programs as shaped by the ongoing political controversy about national health insurance. Group weight loss became the main de facto American response to a perceived obesity-driven heart disease crisis. The episode casts light on the larger picture of how postwar American public health gravitated toward interventions centered on individual behavior and may offer lessons for obesity interventions today.

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Authors & Contributors
Rasmussen, Nicolas
Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Ina
La Berge, Ann Fowler
Segrave, Kerry
Gilman, Sander L.
Foxcroft, Louise
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of British Studies
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Public Understanding of Science
Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadienne d'Histoire de la Medecine
Micrologus: Natura, Scienze e Società Medievali
Oxford University Press
Duke University Press
Harvard University
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Weight management
Public health
Nutrition; dietetics
Human body
Keys, Ancel
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century, late
19th century
20th century
Early modern
United States
Great Britain
World Health Organization (WHO)

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