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The Political Economy of Obesity: The Fat Pay All

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Sukhmani Bedi

on 19 November 2015

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Transcript of The Political Economy of Obesity: The Fat Pay All

Arielle Baughner
Joseph Tooriram
Nick Parsa
Sukhmani Bedi
What can be done?
Different food system that provides access to good food to everyone.

A wage system that compensates caregivers, food producers, service workers, and manual laborers regardless of the economic status.

A food system that focuses more on feeding people rather than profits.

A health care system that is available to all and offers a range of preventive care options.

A government that insures everyone's right to adequate food.
Sociologist Herbert Gans used thirteen economic, cultural and political functions of poverty in US.

Julier took those thirteen functions of poverty and replaced the word "poverty" with "obesity"

"A political economy of obesity encourages us to look at the systemcatic distribution of power and rewards associated with this public health crisis."

Moral Panic
: Greater personal responsibility towards execise and weight loss as part of moral obligation of citizenship. the behavior or fear is formented by intense media coverage.
Thank you!
Alice Julier
1. The existence of obesity - of a population of people identified visually and scientifically as being too fat - ensures that society's "dirty work" gets done.
2. The obese and overweight are working at lower wages and generally higher costs of living, they subsidize a varity of economic activities that benefit the affluent.
3. Labeling obesity an epidemic created jobs for a number of occupations and professions that serve or "service" the diet, exercise, and health industries - and perhaps, "protect" the rest of society from the obese.
4. The overweight and obese buy goods that others do not want and thus prolong the economic usefulness of such goods.
5. Major function of obesity is that the obese can be identified and punished as alleged or real deviants in order to uphold the legitimacy of conventional norms.
7. Overweight and obese offer vicarious participation in indulgence to the rest of the population.
The Political Economy of Obesity:
The Fat Pay All

8. The obese serve a direct cultural function when, seen as a single group, their "culture: is adopted through icons, stereotype and heroes.
9. Seeing obesity as a master identity (and homogeneous grouping) helps guarantee the status of those who are not fat.
10. The obese also aid in the status mobiliy of those who are just above them in the hierarchy - those who were heavy and lose weight.
11. The obese keep the thin busy, particularly those who assimilate into thinness via diets and surgery, by becoming trainers, diet experts, and icons of what is right.
6. People stigmatized by body size lack the level of political and social power to correct the stereotypes that other people hold of them and thus continue to be thought of as willing victims, engaged in bad personal decisions.
12. Being relatively powerless to affect public policy and cultural production, the obese and overweight are made to absorb the costs of changes and growth in American society.
13. The obese facilitate the American political process. The "obesity epidemic" is more about social and political norms than about the scientific and medical realities of body size.
Connections to the Course
What do you THINK...
Figures like Jared Fogle from Subway or other famous weight loss successes bring a positive or negative stigma in those who are overweight in the community?
Selected parts of animals were consumed as "white" would not eat them.
White and powerful controlled the consumption of the weak
Mass production, increase in number of available calories, increase in average weight, and hence the epidemic of obesity.
What do you THINK...
Are women and men in poverty equally affected by the political economy of obesity?
What do you think of this video?
Full transcript