Eating in the Panopticon: Surveillance of Food and Weight before and after Bariatric Surgery

Sarah Trainer, Amber Wutich, Alexandra Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, we explore the processes by which surveillance of eating and weight is coupled with popular and medical ideas about discipline, responsibility, and moral worth for individuals identified as fat/obese. We then follow these individuals through bariatric surgery and weight loss, paying attention to what discourses and practices shift and what remain unchanged. We argue that weight loss does not temper the intensity and constancy of surveillance, because it is at the core of ideas concerning good citizenship and personal responsibility. Accompanying judgments do shift, however, as the perceptions of failure at disciplined “healthy” eating associated with fatness give way to more diverse attitudes post surgery. This analysis also highlights the fact that public and clinical perceptions of “troubled eating” often rely not on eating practices but on the types of bodies that are doing the consuming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Mar 24 2017

Fingerprint

Bariatric Surgery
eating behavior
surgery
surveillance
Eating
food
Weights and Measures
Food
Weight Loss
Somatotypes
responsibility
Fats
citizenship
discourse

Keywords

  • Bariatric surgery
  • eating
  • fat
  • food
  • obesity
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Anthropology

Cite this

@article{cc02101517bf483b96f23434da510c18,
title = "Eating in the Panopticon: Surveillance of Food and Weight before and after Bariatric Surgery",
abstract = "In this article, we explore the processes by which surveillance of eating and weight is coupled with popular and medical ideas about discipline, responsibility, and moral worth for individuals identified as fat/obese. We then follow these individuals through bariatric surgery and weight loss, paying attention to what discourses and practices shift and what remain unchanged. We argue that weight loss does not temper the intensity and constancy of surveillance, because it is at the core of ideas concerning good citizenship and personal responsibility. Accompanying judgments do shift, however, as the perceptions of failure at disciplined “healthy” eating associated with fatness give way to more diverse attitudes post surgery. This analysis also highlights the fact that public and clinical perceptions of “troubled eating” often rely not on eating practices but on the types of bodies that are doing the consuming.",
keywords = "Bariatric surgery, eating, fat, food, obesity, surveillance",
author = "Sarah Trainer and Amber Wutich and Alexandra Slade",
year = "2017",
month = "3",
day = "24",
doi = "10.1080/01459740.2017.1298595",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--15",
journal = "Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness",
issn = "0145-9740",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Eating in the Panopticon

T2 - Surveillance of Food and Weight before and after Bariatric Surgery

AU - Trainer, Sarah

AU - Wutich, Amber

AU - Slade, Alexandra

PY - 2017/3/24

Y1 - 2017/3/24

N2 - In this article, we explore the processes by which surveillance of eating and weight is coupled with popular and medical ideas about discipline, responsibility, and moral worth for individuals identified as fat/obese. We then follow these individuals through bariatric surgery and weight loss, paying attention to what discourses and practices shift and what remain unchanged. We argue that weight loss does not temper the intensity and constancy of surveillance, because it is at the core of ideas concerning good citizenship and personal responsibility. Accompanying judgments do shift, however, as the perceptions of failure at disciplined “healthy” eating associated with fatness give way to more diverse attitudes post surgery. This analysis also highlights the fact that public and clinical perceptions of “troubled eating” often rely not on eating practices but on the types of bodies that are doing the consuming.

AB - In this article, we explore the processes by which surveillance of eating and weight is coupled with popular and medical ideas about discipline, responsibility, and moral worth for individuals identified as fat/obese. We then follow these individuals through bariatric surgery and weight loss, paying attention to what discourses and practices shift and what remain unchanged. We argue that weight loss does not temper the intensity and constancy of surveillance, because it is at the core of ideas concerning good citizenship and personal responsibility. Accompanying judgments do shift, however, as the perceptions of failure at disciplined “healthy” eating associated with fatness give way to more diverse attitudes post surgery. This analysis also highlights the fact that public and clinical perceptions of “troubled eating” often rely not on eating practices but on the types of bodies that are doing the consuming.

KW - Bariatric surgery

KW - eating

KW - fat

KW - food

KW - obesity

KW - surveillance

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85015851994&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85015851994&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/01459740.2017.1298595

DO - 10.1080/01459740.2017.1298595

M3 - Article

C2 - 28300433

AN - SCOPUS:85015851994

SP - 1

EP - 15

JO - Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness

JF - Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness

SN - 0145-9740

ER -