Dietary Self-Examination in Childhood Nutrition Education

By: Janet Loughheed  

Canadian childhood nutrition education was fundamentally changed with the introduction of the Official Food Rules in 1942. This study examines this nutrition knowledge for Everyman and how the dietary self-examination was employed in elementary nutrition classroom materials. Children are educated in the pass/fail binaries of a quantitatively defined diet based on the government-determined Food Guide. Discourse analysis of classroom and policy materials of Ontario reveals changing gender roles and the use of healthy eating education as a governmental technology to promote patriotism, multiculturalism and responsibility for the public healthcare system over the next 75 years. Focusing education on unrealistic personal obedience to food guides allows misdirection of attention from regulatory weaknesses in the food supply, as well as social, economic and environmental influences on health. Healthy eating education remains focused on indoctrinating children into personal responsibility for diet-related health issues.

Health Nutrition Education
Food, Politics, and Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Janet Loughheed

-, -, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Ontario, Canada

Janet Loughhed is fascinated by, and passionate about, how we are structuring childhood eating experiences.