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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Be Wise! Be Healthy!

Morality and Citizenship in Canadian Public Health Campaigns

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Be Wise! Be Healthy!

Morality and Citizenship in Canadian Public Health Campaigns

Lose weight. Quit smoking. Exercise. For over a century, public health campaigns have encouraged Canadians to adopt healthy habits in order to prolong lives, cost the state less, and produce more efficient workers. Be Wise! Be Healthy! explores the history of public health from the 1920s to the 1970s and its emphasis on health as a responsibility of citizenship. But public health campaigns can stigmatize marginalized populations by implying that poor health is due to inadequate self-care, despite clear links between health and external factors such as poverty. This clear-eyed study demonstrates that while we may well celebrate the successes of public health campaigns, they are not without controversy.

308 pages


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Creating Healthy Citizens

1 “Tell Your Children the Truth”: The Canadian Social Hygiene Council and Venereal Disease Education

2 Expanding the Mission: Publicizing Public Health

3 “Stamp Out VD!” The Health League of Canada and Venereal Disease Education during the 1940s and 1950s

4 Preventing Sickness and Absenteeism: The Health League and the Workplace

5 “The Human Factory”: Nutrition, Efficiency, and Longevity

6 Fighting Apathy and Ignorance: National Campaigns

7 “A Malicious, Mendacious Minority”: Fighting for Water Fluoridation

8 Circling the Drain: The League’s Slow Decline

Conclusion: The Successes and Failures of Preventive Health

Notes; Index

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