The changing social concepts of healthy food are shaping heterogenous policies, economies and institutions in various ways. They can proliferate and stimulate various ideologies and lifestyles. As such they are effective tools of social and cultural transformations.
The link between health and proper nutrition has always been an integral part of various medical systems. However, a healthy diet is definitely more than just a physiological relationship between food and body. Since ancient times, diet has been an important element of various moralities and philosophies of life, binding individual bodies to changing social norms, institutions, power relations and politics. Being a nexus of material and normative, healthy diets were always framed within various discourses and in different cultural locations and performed as part of social positions, statuses, gender roles etc.
The principles of healthy dieting and the contexts they were put into also transformed. Nowadays, healthy eating seems to focus on the issues of food-related fears and on individual responsibility for avoiding risk. They are also strongly associated with the maintenance of fit bodies and the social stigmatization of people with different body sizes. They also interfere with the cultural codification of care and responsibility for the well-being of the family as women's work. The changing social concepts of healthy food are shaping heterogenous policies, economies and institutions in various ways. They are both implemented and challenged, negotiated and rejected. Despite their initial unifying and disciplining ambitions, the concepts of a healthy diet can proliferate and stimulate various ideologies and lifestyles. They are effective tools of social and cultural transformations.
We look forward to empirically-grounded papers on changing cultural meanings of healthy eating, addressing the above issues, although not necessarily limited to them.