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Title: Nutritional altruism and functional food: lay discourses on probiotics.
Authors: Crawford, P
Brown, B
Nerlich, B
Koteyko, N
First Published: Jul-2010
Citation: SOCIOL HEALTH ILLN, 2010, 32 (5), pp. 745-760
Abstract: This exploratory study set out to analyse discourse about 'friendly bacteria' by scrutinising data from focus groups convened to discuss participants' reasons for choosing probiotic food products and to set their use of probiotics in context in relation to other food choices. In discussing food choice and dietary patterns, participants in the five focus groups reported here drew on a major interpretive repertoire - that of 'nutritional altruism' in which participants described making choices and preparing food which they believed would benefit others. Those caring for children or shopping for a family member with an illness or disability expressed this imperative to make decisions which would benefit the other most acutely. So far, much research has focused upon the sensory qualities and perceived health benefits for individual consumers, but this study begins to explore the discourses drawn upon when people describe why they might buy food for others. The findings have implications for health education, but also reflect a broader socio-political trend in that risks and benefits are devolved and managed at the level of individual citizens and through processes of individual choice and consumption.
DOI Link: 10.1111/j.1467-9566.2010.01238.x
eISSN: 1467-9566
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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