Sociology on the Menu: An Invitation to the Study of Food and Society

By Alan Beardsworth; Teresa Keil | Go to book overview

6

CHANGING CONCEPTIONS OF DIET AND HEALTH

The linkage between diet and health is an inescapable fact of life. However, in some senses this linkage can be a complex and subtle one, and clear causal pathways may be very difficult to establish, whether by time-honoured intuitive techniques or by the sophisticated, systematic methods of modern science. Thus, while this link is widely recognized in human culture, there are seemingly endless variations in the ways in which it is conceptualized and in the ways in which such conceptualizations are translated into actual beliefs and practices. However, as a starting-point it is useful to see conceptualizations of the relationship between diet and health as having two opposed aspects: positive and negative. The positive aspect is based upon the idea that certain food items, combinations of food items or diets can produce beneficial health outcomes. These beneficial outcomes may be viewed, by those who accept such ideas, as generalized and unspecific. That is, certain dietary choices are seen as maintaining, or actually enhancing, an individual’s resistance to disease or as promoting the efficiency or durability of the body. However, such ideas can be much more specific. For example, particular dietary options or particular foodstuffs may be seen as capable of preventing a particular disease. Similarly, certain food items, or a given dietary regime, may be seen as suitable for treating a disease or for managing a disease and relieving its symptoms.

Many of the negative aspects of the linkage between diet and health are self-evident. Most obviously, a grossly inadequate food intake will lead to weight loss and eventually to death (either through starvation or the onset of a related disease). However, nutrient deficiencies which fall short of the absolute deprivation of starvation can result from low food intake, an unbalanced diet or poor assimilation. Thus, dietary protein deficiency in infants after weaning can result in the disease known as kwashiorkor. A deficiency of vitamin D can cause rickets, a disease which mainly affects children and is characterized by the softening of developing bone (resulting in bow legs). The disease scurvy results from a lack of vitamin C, and produces anaemia, spongy gums, and, in infants, is associated with malformations of bones and teeth. Furthermore, inevitably, food intake can act as a channel for the introduction of harmful agents into the body. These may be toxins (whether organic or inorganic, naturally occurring or

-125-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sociology on the Menu: An Invitation to the Study of Food and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface x
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - The Social Dimensions of the Food System 11
  • 1 - The Origins of Human Subsistence 13
  • 2 - The Making of the Modern Food System 32
  • 3 - Sociological Perspectives on Food and Eating 47
  • Part II - The Social Organization of Eating 71
  • 4 - Food, Family and Community 73
  • 5 - Eating Out 100
  • Part III - Food, Health and Well-Being 123
  • 6 - Changing Conceptions of Diet and Health 125
  • 7 - Food Risks, Anxieties and Scares 150
  • 8 - Dieting, Fat and Body Image 173
  • Part IV - Patterns of Preference and Avoidance 191
  • 9 - The Mysterious Meanings of Meat 193
  • 10 - The Vegetarian Option 218
  • 11 - Sugar and Confectionery 242
  • Epilogue 254
  • Bibliography 260
  • Author Index 271
  • Subject Index 275
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 278

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.