Fostering a hunger for health: Food and the self in 'The Australian Women's Weekly'

Schneider, Tanja; Davis, Teresa
September 2010
Health Sociology Review;Sep2010, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p285
Academic Journal
Over the past decade, consumers in Australia and elsewhere have increasingly been confronted with a fast growing number of health food products. This profusion of health foods is accompanied by a proliferation in popular culture of professional nutritional advice on 'what is good to eat'. The genre of lifestyle magazines is one popular medium via which healthy eating practices and health foods are frequently reported. In this paper we use a visual discourse analysis of food-related editorial and advertorial content sourced from the long running and popular The Australian Women's Weekly to investigate how lifestyle magazines have been one important locus for constituting health conscious consumers. Taking up a Foucauldian governmentality perspective we trace how this active, responsible conceptualisation of the consumer, which we refer to as 'healthy food consumer', has increased in prevalence in the pages of The Australian Women's Weekly over time. Based on our analysis we suggest that the editorial and advertorial content offers models of conduct to individuals about what possible preventative activities in which to engage, and plays an important role in shaping how we think about taking care of our health through eating.


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