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Resisting health: extreme food and the culinary abject


Phillipov, M, Resisting health: extreme food and the culinary abject, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 30, (5) pp. 377-390. ISSN 1529-5036 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 National Communication Association

DOI: doi:10.1080/15295036.2012.755054


Controversies involving calorically extravagant fast food hamburgers are not only significant manifestations of nutritional surveillance and policing, they are also important sites of debate about food, health, and eating during a so-called "obesity epidemic." This paper examines the media coverage and controversies surrounding two "fat" burgers that were sold in the Australian market in 2008 and 2011. It argues that the almost total subsuming of the "meaning" of these burgers into a framework of health simultaneously limited comprehension of their pleasures and provided opportunities for resistance to public health agendas. By locating the consumption of these burgers as part of a broader, masculine "turn to the extreme" in contemporary culture, this article suggests that the burgers' transgression of healthy eating edicts not only reveals the limits of public health education's ascetic agenda, but also highlights the complex and interdependent relationships among media, food, health, and its discontents at a time when eating and nutrition are sources of heightened anxiety, surveillance, and control.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:extreme food, fast food, news, advertising, masculinity
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Phillipov, M (Dr Michelle Phillipov)
ID Code:81574
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2012-12-14
Last Modified:2018-02-17

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