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Stakeholder responses to governmental dietary guidelines: Challenging the status quo, or reinforcing it?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
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2018 (English)In: British Food Journal, ISSN 0007-070X, E-ISSN 1758-4108, Vol. 120, no 3, p. 613-624Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how stakeholders in the food and nutrition field construct and conceptualise “appropriate” national dietary advice.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 40 voluntarily written stakeholder responses to updated official dietary guidelines in Sweden were analysed thematically. The analysis explored the logics and arguments employed by authorities, interest organisations, industry and private stakeholders in attempting to influence the formulation of dietary guidelines.

Findings

Two main themes were identified: the centrality of anchoring advice scientifically and modes of getting the message across to the public. Stakeholders expressed a view of effective health communication as that which is nutritionally and quantitatively oriented and which optimises individuals’ capacities to take action for their own health. Their responses did not offer alternative framings of how healthy eating could be practiced but rather conveyed an understanding of dietary guidelines as documents that provide simplified answers to complex questions.

Practical implications

Policymakers should be aware of industrial actors’ potential vested interests and actively seek out other stakeholders representing communities and citizen interests. The next step should be to question the extent to which it is ethical to publish dietary advice that represents a simplified way of conceptualising behavioural change, and thereby places responsibility for health on the individual.

Originality/value

This research provides a stakeholder perspective on the concept of dietary advice and is among the first to investigate referral responses to dietary guidelines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 120, no 3, p. 613-624
Keywords [en]
Food policy, Concept of advice, Dietary guidelines, Nutritional reductionism, Stakeholder influences
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-341383DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-08-2017-0466OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-341383DiVA, id: diva2:1181107
Available from: 2018-02-07 Created: 2018-02-07 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Bergman, KarolinPersson Osowski, ChristineLövestam, ElinElmståhl, HelenaNowicka, Paulina

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