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Nutrition and the Mediterranean Diet: A Historical and Sociological Analysis of the Concept of a ‘Healthy Diet’ in Spanish Society

Transforming the Rural

ISBN: 978-1-78714-824-6, eISBN: 978-1-78714-823-9

ISSN: 1057-1922

Publication date: 30 June 2017

Abstract

In this chapter the aim is to analyse the way the relationship between health and food has been changing at the same time as Spanish society itself. From the beginnings of the consumer society until the present day the modernization process has made its imprint on the guidelines public bodies have issued to the public on caring for their health and diet. Beginning in the 1960s with a welfare idea of a healthy diet, very typical of the decade, and meant for a population with nutritional problems, today we have guidelines for an overfed population. The social trends dominant in each historical moment are shown throughout this transformation process and the dietary recommendations have been part of the social change. However, the perceptions of the administration itself on what constitutes a healthy diet have also made their mark on the criteria. The modernizing nature of the paternalistic administration of the 1960s can be easily seen in contrast with the public bodies of the 1980s competing with the messages from the food and agricultural businesses. As the 20th century drew to a close, dietary advice was in keeping with a background dominated by considerations on the nature of social change and in which both public bodies and citizens trusted in the truths of science as a reference point for correct action. At the beginning of the 21st century, reflexivity and questioning of scientific power appear and also an increase in public preoccupation with food risks. Each stage is analysed relating historical background and dietary recommendations.

Keywords

Citation

Díaz-Méndez, C. and Gómez-Benito, C. (2017), "Nutrition and the Mediterranean Diet: A Historical and Sociological Analysis of the Concept of a ‘Healthy Diet’ in Spanish Society ", Transforming the Rural (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 24), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 283-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1057-192220170000024014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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