The neoliberal diet and inequality in the United States.

Auteur(s) :
Otero G., Pechlaner G., Liberman G.
Date :
Août, 2015
Source(s) :
Soc Sci Med.. #142 p47-55
Adresse :
Simon Fraser University, School for International Studies, 7200-515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BCV6B 5K3, Canada. Electronic address:

Sommaire de l'article

This paper discusses increasing differentiation of U.S. dietary components by socioeconomic strata and its health implications. While upper-income groups have had increasing access to higher-quality foods, lower-to-middle-income class diets are heavily focused on "energy-dense" fares. This neoliberal diet is clearly associated with the proliferation of obesity that disproportionately affects the poor. We provide a critical review of the debate about obesity from within the critical camp in food studies, between individual-focused and structural perspectives. Using official data, we show how the US diet has evolved since the 1960s to a much greater emphasis on refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils. Inequality is demonstrated by dividing the population into households-income quintiles and how they spend on food. We then introduce our Neoliberal Diet Risk Index (NDR), comprised of measures of food-import dependency, the Gini coefficient, rates of urbanization, female labor-force participation, and economic globalization. Our index serves to measure the risk of exposure to the neoliberal diet comparatively, across time and between nations. We conclude that only a societal actor like the state can redirect the food-production system by modifying its agricultural subsidy policies. Inequality-reducing policies will make the healthier food involved in such change widely available for all.

Source : Pubmed