‘The only Problem is, children will like their chips’: education and the discursive production of ill-health

John Evans, Bethan Evans, Emma Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-241
Number of pages27
JournalPedagogy, Culture & Society
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of '‘The only Problem is, children will like their chips’: education and the discursive production of ill-health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this