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When food is neither good nor bad : children's evaluations of transformed and combined food products
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Kirrilly ThompsonKirrilly Thompson, Sarah BlundenSarah Blunden, E Brindal, G Hendrie
This study examined children’s subjective perceptions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. Four interactive focus groups were conducted with 27 children aged 5–9 in South Australia. Each focus group was engaged in a food picture sorting activity. Whilst most children were able to discriminate good and bad whole foods or ingredients, they were less able to agree at a group level on the categorization of combined and transformed food products with which they are most likely to be presented in their ‘everyday’ lives. We discuss this confusion using Mary Douglas’s (1966) theory of ‘matter out of place’. Accordingly, health promotion messages should cultivate the skills required to reconcile the co-presence of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ingredients in one product or meal.