Obesity is not on the menu.

The obesity epidemic discourse has started to laden academics and the media.  Programs telling parents to encourage their kids to play outside, eat better meals, and learn about their nutrition. The government has put into place a standard for public schools to create guidelines for meals served.  They must uphold a healthy lifestyle for their growing students.  This bio-political aim is that bodies are becoming more fat and thus the government must start earlier with children’s nutrition because apparently parents cannot.

“School lunches must meet the applicable recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual’s calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. Regulations also establish a standard for school lunches to provide one‐third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. School lunches must meet Federal nutrition requirements, but decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by local school food authorities.” (http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/lunch/AboutLunch/NSLPFactSheet.pdf)

Today in class we were talking all about bio-politics, how biology and scientific discourses play into government control or influence.  In class we mentioned such bio-political examples as welfare, drug testing, abortion, concentration camps, birth control, airport security etc.  Public school food regulations are easily contributable in the realm of body-politics.  The obsession with the developing body and weight in children has become apart of the political vernacular. Obesity in general has become a body- politic.  The expansion of hospitals to include bariatric centers and more and more people getting weight loss surgery.  There is an obsession with weight in the media as well, thus creating an entire consumer out of it.  The weight loss consumer, or the work out fanatic consumer; either way the need for a different body has become apart of out culture.  This image has led children and young adults to question themselves and go for extreme diets or extreme measures to make themselves lose weight.  This is also apart of the health and obesity body politics.  The public school regulation of food is both for the kid’s sake, but also the society they will grow up in.  The atmosphere is that kids have to deal with is that with repercussions of what their body is representing in our overly weight conscious society; this along with having to eat the chef’s special of the day.

-Megan Bittner

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