What's Eating the Eater? Perspectives on the Everyday Anxiety of Food Consumption in Late Modernity
Sammanfattning: Consumers today are constantly showered with a vast array of different messages about what and how they should and should not eat in order to lead a healthy life. This bombardment has escalated over the last decades as various actors, such as representatives from the medical community and public policy makers, have increasingly stressed the connections between individuals’ food consumption habits and the state of their health. On top of this, food producers are trying to capitalize on the increased focus on health by developing, or repositioning, products that cater to the health conscious market segments. These developments lead to a situation where consumers are faced with various different, and sometimes contrasting, groups of experts that tell them what they are supposed to do. This dissertation looks at how consumers navigate between and make use of the available cacophony of different voices of food and health. The emerging picture is one of consumers reflexively incorporating bits and pieces of this expert knowledge of food consumption and health into their day-to-day lives. However, the consumers are also plagued by an everyday anxiety, as they feel unable to determine whether they are really able to make sense of the incoming expert information or not. Furthermore, the picture includes consumers constantly having to deal with a nagging sense that they are not able to live according to the norms they have set up for themselves.
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