This article reports the findings of focus group research on Australian women who have engaged in dieting practices to lose weight. There have been few qualitative sociological studies on dieting, despite it being a common practice among western women. From the empirical data in this study three distinct themes emerged: women participate in the perpetuation and reinforcement of the thin ideal; women clearly trade-off health in the pursuit of dieting to lose weight; and the dominant discourse of the thin ideal is not only mediated in various ways, but is also contested by a reverse discourse of size acceptance. A sociology of food and the body enables the discourses in the area of dieting women to be deconstructed, offering an insight into the gendered context of food, which has implications for the sociology of health and illness.
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1996|