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.