How French children food representations and tastes vary according to their social backgrounds: a study of disparities in food habitus - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Health Sociology Review Year : 2023

How French children food representations and tastes vary according to their social backgrounds: a study of disparities in food habitus

Anthony Fardet

Abstract

The diet of individuals is influenced by social and cultural factors. Children's food tastes and representations, being principally transmitted by their parents, are likely to depend on their social backgrounds. As it is known that parents' feeding strategies and food education differ depending on their social positions, this study aimed at examining how food representations and tastes vary among children. A qualitative sociological study, using semi-structured interviews, was conducted with 40 children, aged from 9 to 11 years, from four French elementary schools. Results showed that children from disadvantaged social backgrounds mentioned less foods, seemed to have a less varied diet, to consume less vegetables, and to enjoy eating ultra-processed foods more than other children. Different food habitus were found, that can be put into perspective using Bourdieu's distinction theory, including different preoccupations regarding health and necessity among social groups. Disparities in children's food habitus could be theoretically linked with observed and growing social inequalities in health, when taking into consideration the potential practises that these habitus imply, and their probable effects on health. Participatory food education classes at school could aim to reduce such disparities, although some concerns and limits must be acknowledged.

Domains

Sociology
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Dates and versions

hal-04053412 , version 1 (31-03-2023)

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Louis Lebredonchel, Anthony Fardet. How French children food representations and tastes vary according to their social backgrounds: a study of disparities in food habitus. Health Sociology Review, 2023, 32 (2), pp.213-227. ⟨10.1080/14461242.2022.2148832⟩. ⟨hal-04053412⟩
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