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J Health Psychol. 2006 May;11(3):427-40.

Defining and defending 'unhealthy' practices: a discourse analysis of chocolate 'addicts" accounts.

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University of Leeds, UK.


Contemporary ideals of health and nutrition conspire to render the consumption of chocolate and similar snacks problematic. Individuals who self-define as 'chocoholics' therefore present an ideal opportunity to investigate how ostensibly unhealthy acts are defined, defended and maintained within a health-conscious climate. This article reports on an interview-based study with five self-professed chocoholics. A Foucauldian form of discourse analysis was applied to the interview transcripts and four main discourses identified: chocolate as dirty and dangerous; chocolate as pleasure; self-surveillance; and addiction. The function of such discourses in terms of upholding the moral status of these individuals is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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