Food Biomedicalization and Self-Tracking Technologies: How Is “Healthy Ageing Body” (re)Defined?
Health enhancement and self-tracking are not new (Katz and Marshall, forthcoming), neither are they in relation to food (Crawford & al., 2015). Although, they now happen within a society permeated by healthism discourses (Crawford, 1980) that contribute to defining “successful ageing” (Katz, 2013) by the maintenance of a good health (Power and Polzner, 2016). Seniors are enjoined to “embrace the potential of longevity through the daily acts of eating.” (Powell, 2006, p. x), by the consumption of “functional food”, namely food characterised by the causal relationship drawn between food’s biochemical properties and their alleged effects on bodies (e.g. medicalxpress.com, 2017, « Studies link healthy brain aging to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood »). Hence, through its biomedicalization, food becomes a new site of health governance “where the risks of chronic diseases should be managed” (Kim, 2013).
Following Katz and Marshall’s (2016) work over the “speculative futures of ageing”, this paper critically examines how food biomedicalization and self-tracking technologies contribute to (re)defining “healthy” aging bodies and new normativities.