Food as Power

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Once again, Terry nails a food issue on the head. This entry, “Food as Power,” talks about some news events in which parents have starved their children:

For all those parents out there thinking about putting your overweight child on a diet, consider this:

“I’d be willing to bet that every fat person has been put on a diet by a parent at some time in their youth. Someone else decides what you’re allowed to eat, someone who withholds anything forbidden and doles out everything else on a schedule. Food becomes a battle, with the adult, who holds all the power, on one side and the child on the other. All control is taken from the child, leading to resentment and secret binges. The plan seldom works for this reason.”

Terry goes on to say that food is ultimately about power. Parental power over children. Familial power over siblings. Our power over ourselves.

“In all facets of our lives, food becomes a struggle for power. That’s not just for the overweight. It’s an issue for thin women, too. Food gets separated into categories of virtue and sin, and we monitor our intake as a measure of strength or weakness and fear it having power over us. Our weight is a visible sign of how much self-control we have.”

If you feel out of control in other aspects of your life, does it affect your eating? I’ve noticed that I binge more when my life feels out of control. Being able to eat whatever I want in large quantities seems to give me an illusion of control over the rest of my life. The same has been said for those fighting with anorexia. Refusing food gives them a sense of control in their lives.

So, the question for me is:

What can I do to exert control over my life that doesn’t involve food?


2 Responses to “Food as Power”

  1. R.M. Koske Says:

    Oh, this is so true. I have a nephew who seems to be an anorexic in the making – mealtimes are a battle with his grandmother (who has a very forceful personality) to get him to eat. He often sits there for hours because he’s not allowed to leave the table until the food is gone. I worry for him, and for his youger sisters who seem to be following in his footsteps (and who might be more likely to pick up anorexia as young women.)

  2. www.iportion.com Says:

    Parents who are too restrictive about eating have been shown to have children more prone to weight problems and disordered eating more than even too lax with junk food giving parents. The theories range from it teaches sneak and binge eating to it doesn’t let the body self regulate like a thin person.

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