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Protein = Healthy?: A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of protein snacks packaging
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1089-5819
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2394-9959
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper, we examine how protein snacks are marketed as a healthy choice through their packaging and discuss the cultural meanings of protein that are communicated to consumers via packaging. With the rise of obesity and chronic disease, the EU and many member national governments are promoting healthy diet as the solution to this public health challenge. The new wellness food industry is now a trillion dollarbusiness. Food companies are capitalising on this via reformulating products to appear healthier. One common strategy is adding protein to food that wasformerly seen as unhealthy. This is in line with research that has found that consumers believe high protein food has a positive impact on physical performance, body composition, and weight control. It has been discussed that in the West the modern healthy food discourse has become not being healthy perse but instead linked to multiple possibilities of cultural meaning. What has not yet been carefully explored is how ideas of healthy eating and its cultural meaning are embedded in food packaging. Adopting Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis (MCDA) we look at the packaging of a group of snacks that are usually high in fat and sugar that have been reformulated to enhance their protein content and thereby appear to be healthy food options. We argue that the kind of healthy food messages this packaging creates is often confusing and misleading. The discourse favours profit-driven marketers and might have a negative impact on public health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Social Semiotics, Food packaging, Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse, Health
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-70835OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-70835DiVA, id: diva2:1273130
Conference
The 1st Biannual Conference on Food and Communication, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, September 6-7, 2018
Available from: 2018-12-20 Created: 2018-12-20 Last updated: 2019-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, GöranChen, Ariel

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf