About This Show
Academic papers on the history of medicine and medical humanities from the Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland (CHOMI). The Centre, founded in 2006, is based in the School of History, University College Dublin. CHOMI seeks to promote the study of the social and cultural history of medicine in Ireland. Its research and other activities are supported by a range of funding bodies including the Wellcome Trust.
Most Recent Episode
Health on the High Street
Dr Jane Hand (Department of History, University of Warwick)
Associate Professor Catherine Cox (Director, UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland & School of History, University College Dublin
Health on the High Street: Consumerism, the NHS and Low-Fat Diets in Britain since the 1970s
UCD Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland Seminar Series, 8 February 2018
Since the postwar period food choice and diet have become increasingly intertwined with wider health and food policies focused on disease prevention, public health and medical service provision. As epidemiological research into chronic disease causation identified high intake of particular nutrients or minerals as harmful to health, retailers recognised the potential of products that reduced or removed these components in order to encourage consumers to make healthy choices. The National Health Service (NHS) was an important educator in this respect, urging at-risk patients to engage in new health behaviours and make better lifestyle choices by changing diet and exercising more. It promoted the idea that individualised health risks could be overcome (at least in part) by complying with a myriad of health advice that included specific recommendations about food consumption. The resulting emergence of public anxiety around the role of unhealthy foods in disease causation enabled food producers, manufacturers and retailers to co-opt the health education message to create new health food markets that championed various foods as potentially disease-preventing.
This podcast charts the development of food choice as an important health behavior promulgated through both public health and primary and secondary care. It will emphasise the role food and health consumerism played in communicating scientific evidence about the impact of healthy eating on disease prevention to the public. To do so, it will examine the development of low-fat products by certain supermarkets, focusing in particular on the creation of market segmentation around low-fat milk. It uses this case study to emphasise the interconnectedness of the NHS and the retail sector in attempting to reduce chron
Episodes of This Show
Aug 9, 2017
Aug 9, 2017
Aug 9, 2017