On 16 January 2002, the United Kingdom House of Commons Select Committee published a report entitled Tackling Obesity in England. Drawing on insights from the work of Bernstein, Bourdieu and Foucault, this article will suggest that the report provides an example par excellence of the way in which ‘the body’ (our bodies) are being constructed, defined, regulated and pathologised by contemporary health discourse. Furthermore, the article illustrates empirically how themes dominant in this report, grounded within wider regimes of health science ‘truth’, are reflected and reproduced in the curriculum and pedagogy of teachers (health experts), ironically in ways that potentially severely damage the health and identity of young people. To sharpen the focus of the analysis, the discussion centres attention on the relationships between formal education and eating disorders, specifically anorexia nervosa, in order to consider whether the ‘discourse of obesity’ potentially empowers or damages young people's identity and health.
Evans, J., Evans, B., & Rich, E. (2003). ‘The only Problem is, children will like their chips’: education and the discursive production of ill-health. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 11(2), 215-241. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681360300200168