Inconspicuous sustainability in food practices of Dutch consumers with type 2 diabetes

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Abstract

Efforts to involve consumers in the transition towards sustainable diets often presume a degree of reflexivity on the concepts of health and sustainability in the minds of consumers ‘doing healthy and sustainable food’. Departing from the hypothesis that people with type 2 diabetes have been confronted with a physical health issue which has spurred some reflexivity around food consumption, we study how this reflexivity subsequently relates to sustainability in food practices, through the process of de- and reroutinization of mundane food practices. We take a practice-theoretical approach to compare and contrast reflexivity and performance in food practices, combining in-depth interviews with observations during food shopping and cooking. Our findings illustrate a diversity in the extent to which food practices are disrupted after being diagnosed with diabetes. We conclude that reflexivity is not necessarily inspired only by being diagnosed with a major health issue, but that there are more factors determining whether or not lifestyle changes actually take place, such as experiencing bodily discomforts and broader societal attention to lifestyle change. In terms of sustainability, positive environmental effects could be identified ‘piggybacking’ onto changes in practices that were performed towards a healthier diet, such as diversifying protein intake and eating less processed foods.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironmental Sociology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Reflexivity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • sustainable food consumption
  • social practices
  • SES
  • sustainable diets
  • routines

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