Food, health and wellbeing

Research in this area focuses on the practices and meanings of food consumption, eating and health care as well as phenomena relating to food and health policy. The aims are to understand consumer practices and conceptions relating to food and health, examine areas of social life from the perspective of consumers and consumption, and assess the impact of social changes on the status and practices of consumers.

The approaches are based on the sociology of consumption and health, science and technology studies, and health management science. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are used. The research material includes historical and contemporary documents and texts, interviews and group discussions, as well as surveys and statistical data. Recent research in the area has concentrated on expert and lay discourses on food and health topics, methods of steering pertaining to food and health as well as related controversies, the practices and meanings of weight management, sustainable and political food consumption in Finland and the other Nordic countries, and food price structures.

Current research projects are investigating practices and pioneers of   sustainable eating (POPRASUS project), exploring the structures of food consumption and related changes (RUOMU project), and developing new methods of analysing social media by focusing on food- and eating-related phenomena (SSMA project).

Researchers
Mikko Jauho, Mari Niva, Essi Pöyry, Minna Kaarakainen, Nina Kahma

Current projects

  • Politics, practices and the transformative potential of sustainable diets (POPRASUS, funded by the Academy of Finland, begins September 2016), in collaboration with the University of Tampere and Finnish Environment Institute
    • PI: Piia Jallinoja, researchers: Mikko Jauho, Mari Niva
  • Changing structures and competition issues in the Finnish food markets  (Ruomu, 2016-2019)
    • PI: Mari Niva, researchers: Kristiina Aalto
  • Smarter Social Media Analytics (funded by Tekes, 2016-2018)
    • PI: Piia Jallinoja, researchers (at Faculty of Social Sciences): Mikko Jauho, Salla Laaksonen, Essi Pöyry, Mika Pantzar

Past projects

  • Fat in food, fat in bodies (FAT, funded by the Academy of Finland, 2012 – 2015), in collaboration with the Unversity of Jyväskylä and National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL)
  • Beans in Finnish dinner table (2012 – 2014, Maa- ja metsätalousministeriön rahoittama), yhteistyössä Luonnonvarakeskuksen (Luke) kanssa, seepublications
  • Ruokamarkkinoiden toimivuus ja elintarvikkeiden hinnanmuodostus Suomessa (2013 – 2016, Makeran rahoittama), yhteistyössä Luonnonvarakeskuksen (Luke) ja Pellervon taloustutkimuksen (PTT) kanssa
  • Food in Nordic Everyday Life: A comparative survey of change and stability in eating patterns (2011 – 2015, funded by NOS-HS), in collaboration with the Unversities of Copenhagen and Gothenburg and SIFO (National Institute for Consumer Research, Oslo)

Selected recent publications