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Medical History

Be Wise! Be Healthy!

Morality and Citizenship in Canadian Public Health Campaigns

by (author) Catherine Carstairs, Bethany Philpott & Sara Wilmshurst

UBC Press
Initial publish date
May 2018
History, Post-Confederation (1867-), General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
    List Price

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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.

About the authors

Catherine Carstairs is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Guelph.

Catherine Carstairs' profile page

Bethany Philpott's profile page

Sara Wilmshurst's profile page

Other titles by Catherine Carstairs