Dr Wendy Mitchinson 2019 winner of the Jason A. Hannah Medal

AMS, in conjunction with The Royal Society of Canada, is pleased to announce the 2019 winner of the Jason A. Hannah Medal, Dr Wendy Mitchinson for her book Fight Fat which discusses the history of obesity and fatness from 1920 to 1980 in Canada.

In Fighting Fat Dr. Mitchinson examines the attitudes and practices of medical practitioners, nutritionists, educators, and those who see themselves as fat.  Fighting Fat analyzes a number of sources to expose our culture’s obsession with body image. In the book, Mitchinson looks at medical journals, both their articles and the advertisements for drugs for obesity, as well as magazine articles and advertisements, including popular “before and after” weight loss stories. She discovers that promotional advertisements reveal how the media encourages negative attitudes towards body fat. The book also includes over 30 interviews with Canadians who defined themselves as fat, highlighting the emotional toll caused by the stigmatizing of fatness.

Dr. Mitchinson is a distinguished Professor Emerita of history, at the University of Waterloo and is an internationally recognized scholar in the medical treatment of women. She has authored  several ground breaking studies in Canadian women’s history and she was the Canada Research Chair in Gender and Medical History from 2006 to 2013. AMS congratulates her on a terrific achievement.


The Jason A. Hannah medal was established to honour AMS founder, Dr. Jason A. Hannah, and to bring recognition to the work of Canadian research in the history of medicine. It is awarded every two years for an important Canadian publication in the history of medicine.