Term of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

William M. Reynolds

Committee Member 1

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

Michael L. Ludwig

Committee Member 3 Email



This dissertation sought to critically analyze the university environment by examining how the representation practices of corporations articulate with the growing obesity epidemic. For this study, existing data from one southeastern university was collected to describe the articulation between the university and obesity. The analysis examined the collected information and used the cultural studies concept of representation to expose the articulation between obesity and the university setting, including the three major theoretical works of Martin Nestle, Henry Giroux, Michel Foucault, and Paulo Freire. Physical fitness and dietary risk behaviors in students were described using the instrument of the 1995 National College Health Risk Behavior Survey. Data was also gathered from official campus sources to describe the physical activity and nutritional environment to which students are exposed. The representation analysis revealed three important critiques: the university's administration is not consistent in its messaging, the environment represents the student as an emotional consumer while academics represent the student as a rational thinker, and the curriculum creates docile students incapable of true liberation.

Research Data and Supplementary Material