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Conference Papers Year : 2021

Ageing and Changes in food tastes: a sociological approach using epidemiologic cohort data

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Abstract

The paper examines dietary changes over age using a theoretical framework rooted in the sociology of taste and prospective data from an epidemiologic cohort in France. The sociology of taste has shown that tastes differ across social class, gender and age-group, and that various actors try to promote competing definitions of “good taste”. In the case of eating, specific prescriptions target different age groups: focusing on the elderly, “healthy ageing” policies may support or conflict with people’s views of “eating well”. There is, however, little research on how tastes change when people age. Do people adopt new tastes or do different birth cohorts adopt tastes early on and stick to them? The lack of empirical research on the way tastes change in France is largely due to the scarcity of relevant data. We used Gazel, a French epidemiologic cohort in which 20,000 men and women in their forties in 1989 have been surveyed every year since (4 waves of diet questionnaire between 1998 and 2014). Using factor analysis, we characterised diets along three tastes: the taste for sweet and salty foods; for fruits, vegetable and dairy; and for meat, wine and cheese. We connect them to definitions of “eating well” as promoted by the food industry, public health nutrition, and French gastronomy, respectively. We then track survey respondents in this three-dimensional space as they age from their 45 to their 70 years old.
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Dates and versions

hal-03790820 , version 1 (28-09-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03790820 , version 1

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Marie Plessz, Séverine Gojard, Charlotte E Dion. Ageing and Changes in food tastes: a sociological approach using epidemiologic cohort data. 15. Conference of the European Sociological Association, Universite de Barcelone, Aug 2021, Barcelone, Spain. ⟨hal-03790820⟩
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