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Eating, feeding and disability


Impairment; Handicap; Functional limitation; Social model; Medical model



This entry addresses “disability,” both as a medical condition and as a social construction.  In addressing disability as medical phenomenon, the following topics are covered:  malnutrition; obesity; GMOs, environmentaltoxins, and impairment; disability-as-an-input; and food security & an underreporting of disability.  The second section focuses on disability as a social construction and addresses the following topics: food choice, independence, and autonomy (including feeding tubes, assisted eating, and food choice); power & abuse; food acquisition & access (including mobility impairment, identity, and inclusion).  As the topic of disability is relatively understudied within food scholarship, the summary emphasizes directions for future research.  



Traditional notions of disability frame it as a medical phenomenon located in an individual’s