The problematic messages of nutritional discourse: A case-based critical media analysis.


:Nutritional science has assumed a fundamental importance in shaping food meanings and practices in the developed world. This study critically analysed the content of one weekly nutrition column written by a nutritional expert in a popular New Zealand magazine, from a social constructionist perspective, to investigate how nutritional advice constructs food, food practices and eaters. The analysis identified a range of ways in which the nutrition information communicated in the articles was potentially problematic for readers. The articles advocated eating for health with recommendations based on nutritional science, but depicted nutritional information as inconclusive, changeable and open to interpretation. Fear-based messages were used to motivate making 'healthy' food choices, through linking 'unhealthy' food choices with fatness and chronic ill health. Unhealthy foods were portrayed as more enjoyable than healthy foods, social occasions involving food were constructed as problematic, and exercise was defined only as a way to negate food consumption. Healthy eating was portrayed as a matter of personal choice, obscuring the situational factors that impact on food choice and health. We conclude that the nutritional advice analysed in this study constructs a way of understanding food that, if internalised by eaters, may evoke anxiety, confusion and dissatisfaction around food and eating.






Dodds A,Chamberlain K




Has Abstract


2017-01-01 00:00:00














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