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Synopsis

Following on from the success of the first edition, John Coveney traces our complex relationship with food and eating and our preoccupation with diet, self-discipline and food guilt. Using our current fascination with health and nutrition, he explores why our appetite for food pleasures makes us feel anxious. This up-to-date edition includes an examination of how our current obsession with body size, especially fatness, drives a national and international panic about the obesity ‘epidemic’.

Focusing on how our food anxieties have stemmed from social, political and religious problems in Western history, Food, Morals and Meaning looks at:

  • the ancient Greeks’ preoccupation with eating
  • early Christianity and the conflict between the pleasures of the flesh and spirituality
  • scientific developments in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe and our current knowledge of food
  • the social organization of food in the modern home, based on real interviews
  • the obesity ‘epidemic’ and its association with moral degeneration.

Based on the work of Michel Foucault, this fresh and updated edition explains how a rationalization food choice – so apparent in current programmes on nutrition and health – can be traced through a genealogy of historical social imperatives and moral panics. Food, Morals and Meaning is essential reading for those studying nutrition, public health, sociology of health and illness and sociology of the body.

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