Book launch event and discussion: “Sugar Rush: Science, Politics and the Demonisation of Fatness"

This in-conversation event with the Karen Throsby, author of "Sugar Rush", and Professor Jayne Raisborough, will be followed by a Q&A and a drinks reception. Registration is required.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and the School of Sociology and Social Policy invite you to an in-conversation event with Professor Karen Throsby, author of Sugar Rush: Science, Politics and the Demonisation of Fatness (Manchester University Press, 2023) and Professor Jayne Raisborough (Leeds Beckett University).  The discussion will be followed by a Q&A and wine reception. 

About Sugar Rush

“In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the crusade against sugar rose to prominence as an urgent societal problem about which something needed to be done. Sugar was transformed into the common enemy in a revived 'war on obesity' levelled at 'unhealthy' foods and the people who enjoy them. Are the evils of sugar based on purely scientific fact, or are other forces at play? 

Sugar Rush explores the social life of sugar in its rise to infamy. The book reveals how competing understandings of the 'problem' of sugar are smoothed over through appeals to science and the demonisation of fatness, with politics and popular culture preying on our anxieties about what we eat. Drawing on journalism, government policy, public health campaigns, self-help books, autobiographies and documentaries, the book argues that this rush to blame sugar is a phenomenon of its time, finding fertile ground in the era of austerity and its attendant inequalities. 

Inviting readers to resist the comforting certainties of the attack on sugar, Sugar Rush shows how this actually represents a politics of despair, entrenching rather than disrupting the inequality-riddled status quo.” 

Speaker biographies: 

Professor Karen Throsby has been researching issues of gender, technology, bodies and health for over 20 years, including work on reproductive technologies, weight loss surgery and endurance sport. She is the author of Immersion: Marathon Swimming, Identity and Embodiment (2016) and When IVF Fails: Feminist, Infertility and the Negotiation of Normality (2004). She is currently Professor of Gender Studies and Head of School in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds. 

Professor Jayne Raisborough is a Professor of Cultural Sociology at Leeds Beckett University in the Media Subject Group.  Her research interests gravitate around stigma and the production of selfhood and citizenship in the context of neoliberalism with specific focus on class, weight, ageing, and spatiality. Her latest book is Fat Bodies, Health and the Media (2016). 


To register, please complete this Microsoft booking form. Please note registration is essential for this event due to limited venue capacity.