Food health policies and ethics: Lay perspectives on functional foods

Abstract
Functional foods are a challenge tofood health policies, since they questioncentral ideas in the way that food healthpolicies have been developed over the lastdecades. Driven by market actors instead ofpublic authorities and focusing on the role ofsingle foods and single constituents in foodsfor health, they contrast traditional wisdombehind nutrition policies that emphasize therole of the diet as a whole for health.Sociological literature about food in everydaylife shows that technical rationality co-existswith other food related rationalities, such aspractical and economic rationalities, socialand relational rationalities, and symbolicrationalities that influence citizens' ordinaryeating habits. An examination of lay views onexpert knowledge about food and health showthat skepticism exists with respect to thebasis of and balance of expert advice. Critical points with respect to how functionalfoods may influence routines in the populationswith relevance for public health include thefact, that they promote a way of thinking offood and health that is in conflict withwell-established practical ways of ensuring abalanced diet.
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