Health, fitness and diet - Essay Example

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Since the essay is on the summation and criticism of two articles concerning health I would like to use Janet Sayers’ article ‘Feeding the Body’ and Anne Keane’s ‘Too hard to swallow?; The palatability of healthy eating advice’…
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Health, fitness and diet
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Health, Fitness and Diet Since the essay is on the summation and criticism of two articles concerning health I would like to use Janet Sayers' article 'Feeding the Body' and Anne Keane's 'Too hard to swallow; The
palatability of healthy eating advice'. I will begin with Janet Sayer's 'Feeding the Body'. Both these
articles are sociological in context and therefore require a deeper understanding and the need for
laissez faire to construct the meanings that they portray.

In 'Feeding the Body', Sayer deconstructs the meaning of feeding oneself. The idea of a good
'diet' is definitely a Western idea brought in post-colonial times with a tendency for the emulation of
development. Sayer goes on to say the idea of a nutritionally fixed diet in scientific terms is an
ethnocentric concept. Not only is diet subjective, for example in a country where it is difficult or too
expensive to obtain wheat for more fibre, the substitutes are considered not as ample for the so-
called 'healthy' development of the human body. In addition to that idea of even 'health is an issue
to be undertaken with. In some societies obese women are considered the height of beauty and in
fact the healthiest, there is no complete evidence according to Sayer that a Western person with the
correct amount of healthy eating is 'healthier' than an individual from a developing country is not.
And even if it is, the context of perceiving such a situation is various and the values propagated by
the West is not necessarily the values propagated by other societies.

The other article, 'Too hard to swallow' is a continuation of the concept that Sayer
explained. Keane goes even further to deconstruct the meaning of 'healthy eating' and its historical
context. Keane explains that the movements of 'healthy eating' is not necessarily spawned from the
idea of actual 'healthcare' and better standard of living. On the contrary, it is a process between a
consumer and business manufacturers and by proxy, governments who wish to set the standard of
the country's growing economy. Keane argues that the way we see things is by taking them for
granted. For example, the health food and diet industry gains more and more money every year, if
more and more people consume dietary products how is it the mass media portrays that nations are
getting more and more obese every year Our understanding of how food and science works is still
limited and still subject to more and more understanding, not en masse capitalism.

In conclusion, both these articles are more deconstructive in its meanings concerning the
food and health industry. They make valid arguments as to how and why people do the things they
do, and more often than not it is the result of peer pressure or the mass media, not well thought out


Keane, Anne. "Too Hard to swallow; The palatability of healthy eating advice." In Food, Health and Identity. By Pat Caplan (ed.). London and New York: Routledge. 1997.
Sayers, Janet. "Feeding the Body". In Real Bodies; A Sociological Introduction. By Mary Evans and Ellie Lee (eds.). London: Palgrave. 2002. Read More
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