Eating disorder prevention as biopedagogy

LaMarre, A., Rice, C., & Jankowski, G. (2017). Eating disorder prevention as biopedagogy. Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, 6(3), 241-254.



The authors describe eating disorder prevention as biopedagogy: that is, as a set of expectations for how to manage one’s body and self to be a healthy productive citizen. This biopedagogy lands differently on different “bodies of risk”—those of people coded as at risk for eating disorders and those coded as at risk for “obesity” in a social milieu that marks certain bodies, such as those of different sizes, sexualities, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, genders, and abilities—as unacceptable. In theorizing eating disorder prevention as biopedagogy, the authors consider not only the content of prevention messages, but also conventional notions of the normative self that underpin these messages and hence the form that they take, and how this form conflicts with critical perspectives that view subjectivities as dynamic and in flux. The authors argue for a shift to body becoming pedagogies grounded in social justice and intersectional perspectives, suggesting that systemic changes are needed to make diverse bodies welcome.