Discourses of “Healthy” and “Unhealthy” Nutrition Constructed by Pupils and Adults

Antra Mieze, Mg. sc. soc.
PhD candidate in sociology
Faculty of Social sciences
University of Latvia, Latvia
e-mail: antra.mieze@gmail.com


The article explores pupils’ eating habits in Latvia through the research prism of the pupil as a nutrition agent. In the analysis, the emphasis is placed on the interpretation of “healthy” and “unhealthy” nutrition meanings developed by pupils and adults. The aim of the study was to find out the conditions of the formation of food meanings in the school environment of Latvia, as well as to understand and evaluate the impact of these various food discourses on pupils’ daily dietary habits. Data from multiple case studies were analysed using a critical discourse analysis approach. The study concludes that the concepts of “healthy” and “unhealthy” nutrition in the interpretation of both pupils and adults are characterised by polysemous nature and constant transformation and change of meanings, depending on the situation and social context. While defining these concepts, pupils use mostly pre-constructed interpretations of discourse on dietary practices borrowed from adults, but at the same time they place these borrowed meanings in the re-contextualisation of their dietary practices. This, in turn, determines and affects the dietary practice of pupils in both school and outside school environments, and also describes the pupil as a nutrition agent.

Keywords: pupil as a nutrition agent, school nutrition programme, eating habits, critical discourse analysis, re-contextualisationís praxis


How to cite:
Mieze, A. (2019). “Discourses of ‘Healthy’ and ‘Unhealthy’ Nutrition Constructed by Pupils and Adults.” Journal of Comparative Studies 12 (41), 122–138.