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Laypeople blog about fruit and vegetables for self-expression and dietary influence
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics.
Media and Communication Studies, Lund universitet.
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.
2011 (English)In: Health Communication, ISSN 1041-0236, E-ISSN 1532-7027, Vol. 26, no 7, 621-630 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Private health information websites run by laypeople are more often visited than websites of official agencies. Understanding the role of weblogs in dietetic communication-i.e., sharing personal perceptions on healthy eating-is still lacking. This study aims to describe the nature of noncommercial Swedish blogs with fruits and vegetables (F&V)-related content and to identify different blogger types. A qualitative content analysis with abduction was performed on 50 weblogs. Most bloggers presented themselves as women. Only one-third reported their age (range 17 to over 50 years). The bloggers had either an active or passive influential purpose, and they approached F&V through either lived or mediated experiences. From these two dimensions, four F&V blogger ideal types were identified: the Persuader, the Authority, the Exhibitionist, and the Mediator. Particularly women wrote about their lived experiences close to the personal level, whereas men were more equally distributed across the different ideal types. Self-expression (typical for the Exhibitionist) and purpose to influence others' diets (typical for the Persuader and the Authority) were frequently expressed in these weblogs. The current findings on blogging purposes, approaches, and F&V blogger types may help to improve online dietetic communication, which sets new challenges for media strategies of health and nutritional professionals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 26, no 7, 621-630 p.
Keyword [en]
fruit and vegetables, blogs, online, health communication, dietetic communication
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153114DOI: 10.1080/10410236.2011.561520ISI: 000299568100005PubMedID: 21541865OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-153114DiVA: diva2:415211
Available from: 2011-05-05 Created: 2011-05-05 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Consuming and Communicating Fruit and Vegetables: A Nation-Wide Food Survey and Analysis of Blogs among Swedish Adults
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Consuming and Communicating Fruit and Vegetables: A Nation-Wide Food Survey and Analysis of Blogs among Swedish Adults
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to investigate fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption among Swedish adults and to use F&V-related perceptions for audience segmentation. Further, the aim was to identify motives and approaches of F&V bloggers, as well as to analyze F&V-related online discourses.

F&V consumption and related perceptions were surveyed using a questionnaire among a random sample of Swedish adults (18-84y; final response rate 51%; n=1 304). F&V consumption was measured using a self-administered pre-coded 24-h recall and FFQ. The average consumption was close to the recommendations. Women in general and men born outside Sweden as well as the physically active respondents consumed the most F&V. The respondents were divided into two clusters based on their F&V-related perceptions. Positive cluster with more women and higher mean age consumed more F&V, whereas Indifferent cluster experienced more practical, habitual as well as external problems with F&V consumption. Cluster analysis is an example of audience segmentation for communicative purposes.

A sample of 50 lay-people blogs with F&V-related content were analyzed with a qualitative content analysis. Two-dimensional categories – level of dietary influential purpose and source of experience – were used to identify blogger ideal types. Exhibitionist with a passive level of dietary influence and lived experiences was the most common type. Persuaders use lived experiences to actively influence their readers, whereas Authorities try to influence mediating others’ experiences. The Mediator is described as a neutral observer. Understanding the role of blogs in everyday communication is important for targeting health messages. A critical discourse analysis was applied to Persuader bloggers’ texts (n=12). Three F&V-related discourses were identified: normative consumption, authentic consumption and altruistic consumption. This analysis is useful for the last process of dietetic communication, namely tailoring the messages.

The present four studies approach dietetic communication processes from a research perspective. However, a further step might be to apply these to a health promotion initiative starting from an identified diet-related problem (e.g. low F&V consumption) through audience segmentation (e.g. through cluster analysis) and targeting a relevant channel (e.g. through blogs) finally to tailor the message (e.g. findings from discourse analysis).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 73 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 70
Keyword
fruit and vegetables, 24-h recall, food frequency questionnaire, discourse analysis, cluster analysis, communication, blogs
Research subject
Food, Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156978 (URN)978-91-554-8124-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-30, B21, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-09-09 Created: 2011-08-12 Last updated: 2011-11-03Bibliographically approved

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Simunaniemi, Anna-MariAndersson, AgnetaNydahl, Margaretha

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