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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Feminists have long considered dieting for weight loss to be a practice of sexist oppression. This chapter argues that dieting has the status of ideology in the Western world—an unquestioned assumption that generates a sense of “food insecurity” and is indeed oppressive. However, thinking more globally, food security and insecurity have a more urgent meaning, as roughly 1 billion people worldwide live in a state of food insecurity, lacking access to “sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” Seen in this context and the more politicized concept of food sovereignty, the Western ideology of dieting appears to be one of privilege. The feminist concept of intersectionality can explain how the same ideology can be oppressive while at the same time reflecting privilege.

Keywords: feminism, dieting, ideology, food security, food sovereignty, oppression, privilege

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