Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Kitching, K. Fernandez, E. Horgan, D.
Childrens Geographies
Sweets are ‘my best friend’: belonging, bargains and body-shaming in working class girls’ food and health relationships
In Press
Optional Fields
Food environment; childhood; obesogenic; participatory photomapping; assemblage
Research and policy on children’s food consumption commonly highlights the unequal impact of obesogenic environments on their health. Yet obesogenic theories risk pathologising certain communities, when assuming fixed relationships between ‘unhealthy’ environments and ‘obese’ bodies, and neglecting children’s multi-layered relationships to food and health. Drawing on participatory photomapping with 11–12- year-old girls in an urban Irish working-class neighbourhood, this study conceptualises children’s food environments as dynamic, regulatory assemblages which involve multi-layered ‘pushes and pulls’ of ‘healthy’ and ‘unhealthy’ foods, experiences and norms. Such foods, experiences and norms are related to in a variety of ways in the girls’ negotiation of belonging, bargain-hunting and body-shaming. The analysis challenges fixed, binary, adult-centred, classed and gendered ideas about healthy/ unhealthy child bodies, foods and environments. We argue that viewing food environments as assemblages invites ‘obesogenic’ policy and research to inclusively engage children’s dynamic and multi-layered capacities to act, feel and desire around food.
Grant Details