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  • 1.
    Lyon, Phil
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science.
    Kautto, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food, Nutrition and Culinary Science.
    A healthy diet: british newspaper narratives in the 1920s2022In: History of Retailing and Consumption, ISSN 2373-518X, E-ISSN 2373-5171, Vol. 8, no 2, p. 107-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The early years of twentieth-century Britain were a transitional period for the way that food was understood. Diet adequacy was now being increasingly thought of as not simply a matter of the quantity of food but the qualities that food needed to have to sustain optimum health. A number of ‘fad diet’ books were circulating and proposed what readers should eat or avoid, and even how to eat. Science, meanwhile, was making progress with the identification of vitamins and these were added to the discourse. Newspapers in the 1920s had an important communication role in the struggle to separate dietary fact from fiction and this study examines how they represented ideas to their readers. Rather than giving a voice to ‘fad diets’, press stories endorsed the ‘common sense’ of normal varied diets although these could be socially and economically variable. Using fad ridicule and other techniques, as well as the reported opinion from well-known medical figures, newspapers emerge as responsible intermediaries in the transition.

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