Date of Degree

6-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Hester Eisenstein

Subject Categories

Women's Studies

Keywords

neoliberalism, obesity epidemic, diet industry, media industry, obesity industrial complex, sugar industry

Abstract

Neoliberalism has been described as a political and economic theory that proposes "human well-being can best be advanced by liberating... freedoms...within an institutional framework [of]...strong private property rights [and] free markets.... [I]f markets do not exist (...such as in... health care) then they must be created, by state action if necessary." I would argue that the "Obesity Epidemic" is just such a created Neoliberal market, and in fact does not actually exist as an "epidemic." By changing the computation of BMI (Body Mass Index) in 1998, the federal government created the "Obesity Epidemic" by definitional fiat, despite myriad contradictory evidence

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