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Type: Journal article
Title: Moral fiber: Breakfast as a symbol of 'a good start' in an Australian obesity intervention
Author: Warin, M.J.
Zivkovic, T.
Moore, V.
Ward, P.
Citation: Medical Anthropology: cross-cultural studies in health and illness, 2017; 36(3):217-230
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0145-9740
Statement of
Megan Warin, Tanya Zivkovic, Vivienne Moore, and Paul Ward
Abstract: What are the symbolic meanings of breakfast in the context of one of Australia’s largest childhood obesity intervention programs? Utilizing a range of theoretical insights into the morality of food and eating and the anthropology of food, we trace how breakfast is packaged and promoted to families in an Australian community as a ‘healthy start’ to the day. Through ethnographic and historic investigation, we argue that eating breakfast and certain types of breakfast foods are symbolic of a classed, healthy lifestyle pattern, embodying parental knowledge and bodily regulation to routinely structure daily life. In communities where poverty and unemployment are harsh realities, well-intentioned programs that encourage people to eat a healthy breakfast are encoded with an assemblage of moral values - of knowledge, foods, families, and times and spaces - that are often difficult to reconcile with the wider sociocultural context in which many people live.
Keywords: Bodily regulation; ethnography; obesity interventions; moral values; socio-economic disadvantage
Rights: © 2017 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/01459740.2016.1209752
Grant ID: ARC
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Appears in Collections:Anthropology & Development Studies publications
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