The Terror Within: Obesity in Post 9/11 U.S. Life

Charlotte Biltekoff


This essay is based on the premise that all biological sites are also cultural sites. Its central claim is that understanding the cultural work performed by the public health campaign against obesity is essential to a broader accounting of post 9/11 life in the United States. Through analysis of the relationship between the simultaneous wars against obesity and terror, this essay argues that the “war against obesity” plays a role in sustaining the “war on terror” by contributing to the post 9/11 culture of fear, providing a focus for wartime communal self-sacrifice, and obscuring the toll that the war on terror is taking on minority communities.

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American Studies. ISSN 0026-3079.

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