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'A holistic approach': Incorporating sustainability into biopedagogies of healthy eating in Sweden’s dietary guidelines
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för kostvetenskap.
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för kostvetenskap.
Uppsala universitet, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för kostvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-9707-8768
Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick & Unit for Biocultural Variation and Obesity, School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford.
(Engelska)Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

Dietary guidelines advise individuals on how to think and act in relation to food choices. As such, they can be considered a pedagogical tool, designed to promote a healthy lifestyle and eating patterns at the general population level. In this study, we critically examine the biopedagogies implicated in Sweden’s official dietary guidelines. Published in 2015, these guidelines take a “holistic approach” to food and eating, addressing the challenge of formulating dietary advice that considers both human health and environmental concerns. The guidelines therefore offer a potentially innovative, sustainability-driven approach to authoritative dietary advice. Applying Bacchi´s ‘What’s-the-problem-represented-to-be’ approach, we interrogate how the guidelines frame the interplay of public health concerns and environmental concerns in making food choices. We find that the biopedagogies of sustainable eating, as presented in these guidelines, implicate the subject position of the ideal eater. The ideal eater values sustainability, has high cultural capital, and draws on both taste and nutritional knowledge to make good food choices. However, while the ideal eater is expected to be aware of environmental issues, these are incorporated into the ideal eater’s choices only in addition to the primary concern of health. Thus, although the guidelines frame a “holistic approach” as the solution to both health and environmental concerns, in cases where health and environmental priorities conflict, the guidelines’ biopedagogies of sustainable eating align with earlier biopedagogies of healthy eating.

Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap
Forskningsämne
Kostvetenskap; Kostvetenskap; Kostvetenskap
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395045OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-395045DiVA, id: diva2:1360312
Tillgänglig från: 2019-10-11 Skapad: 2019-10-11 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-10-13
Ingår i avhandling
1. Negotiating healthy eating: Lay, stakeholder and government constructions of official dietary guidance in Sweden
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Negotiating healthy eating: Lay, stakeholder and government constructions of official dietary guidance in Sweden
2019 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This thesis approaches dietary guidance as socio-culturally produced and comprised in a specific historical context. The work is premised on the position that ideas and understandings of healthy eating are discursively constructed, and that we form our understandings of the world, ourselves and others through discourse. The theoretical approach builds on the Foucauldian notion of governing, which includes how the state governs people through strategic techniques and individuals’ self-governing in relation to discursive norms related to official institutions. The four studies included in the thesis therefore explore how healthy eating and official dietary guidance are negotiated and constructed from stakeholder, lay and policy perspectives. Paper I takes a stakeholder perspective on “appropriate” national dietary advice by exploring 40 written responses to updated official dietary guidelines. Paper II and III focus on lay people’s discourses on dietary guidance and healthy eating by examining their written correspondences (727 and 60 digital messages, respectively) with the Swedish Food Agency. Paper IV examines how the Swedish Food Agency’s official dietary guidelines frame the interplay of public health concerns and environmental concerns in making food choices.

The findings demonstrate the dominance of a nutrient-centered and scientific discourse in communication (arguments, statements, instructions and questions) related to official dietary guidance in the Swedish context, even among non-professionals (in stakeholder responses, lay messages and the official dietary guidelines). In lay people´s communication with the Swedish Food Agency, both resistance to and internalization of official dietary advice are expressed within this dominating discourse. Resistance is additionally expressed through emotional language and by referring to alternative authorities, including personal experiences. The nutrient-centered and scientific discourse builds on the basic assumption of individual responsibility for health and the taken-for-granted nature of the primacy of physical health. Environmental perspectives come secondary to nutrition, which is demonstrated by their subordinate status in the official dietary guidelines and limited presence in lay people´s correspondences. Most socio-cultural, emotional and structural aspects on eating are made invisible by these discourses, in which food figures as scientifically quantifiable or functional in relation to physical health. However, in the official dietary guidelines from 2015, an additional discourse of cultivating certain tastes as a key to a sustainable diet constructs an ‘ideal eater’ with ‘middle-class’ aspirations.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. s. 83
Serie
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 173
Nyckelord
dietary guidance, official dietary guidelines, healthy eating discourse, holistic dietary advice, reductionism
Nationell ämneskategori
Tvärvetenskapliga studier inom samhällsvetenskap Sociologi (exklusive socialt arbete, socialpsykologi och socialantropologi)
Forskningsämne
Kostvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-395048 (URN)978-91-513-0777-0 (ISBN)
Disputation
2019-11-29, A1:111a, Biomedicinskt centrum, Husargatan 3 (Ingång A11), Uppsala, 13:15 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2019-11-08 Skapad: 2019-10-13 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-11-08

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Bergman, KarolinLövestam, ElinNowicka, Paulina

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