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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634

Abstract

GRACIA-ARNAIZ, Mabel. Eating well, eating poorly and the medicalization of eating behavior. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2007, vol.49, n.3, pp. 236-242. ISSN 0036-3634.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0036-36342007000300009.

This article describes how the progressive process of medicalization of food is inscribed within a biomedical logic that attempts to substitute many of the economic, adaptative and symbolic reasons that have ethnographically and historically conditioned eating habits in all cultures, exclusively for reasons of a dietetic nature. According to this logic, most of the population of modern societies does not know how to eat because they are victims of or have been made ill by the current profusion of food. They must, therefore, learn how to eat well, which in terms of eating practices means eating a little of everything, in moderation and in a balanced way. The main aim of current nutritional education is to (re)establish a supposed dietetic normality as far as food consumed, quantities, number of intakes and meal structures are concerned.

Keywords : food; culture; medicalization; dietetic normality; obesity.

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