Chronical Illness and the Issue of Context in Dietary Counselling

Research output: Contribution to conference without a publisher/journalPaperResearchpeer-review


In dietary counselling contextual food and eating issues are increasingly considered important when trying to promote dietary change. Besides transferring knowledge on healthy eating based on an assessment of the nutritional adequacy of clients diet priority is given to obtain the full dietary story including contextual issues concerning relationships, family values, culture, finances, and personal beliefs. The focus on contextual issues seems to reflect a holistic and empowering approach to the promotion of health. Also, the consideration of contextual issues can be seen as essential to 'learning to live with chronic illness' which is stated as a main goal in health policies and in clinical and behavioral management of chronic illness. However, the use of the notion of context is far from neutral but always socially and historically situated. In this study, it is explored how contextual food and eating issues are taken into account in dietary counselling and how this reflects broader epistemological and political issues related to the prevention and management of chronic illness. A concluding statement from the study is that in order to empower clients, the complexity and contextual nature of food and eating needs to be addressed in a more systematic and critical way than is usually the case in dietary counselling. A narrative approach informed by insights from qualitative research on food and eating is suggested as a more context sensitive approach.
Translated title of the contributionKronisk lidelse og spørgsmålet om kontekst i kostvejledning
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
EventFifth BSA Sociology of Food Study Group Conference 2017 Food and Society - Westminister University, London
Duration: 26 Jul 201727 Jul 2017
Conference number: Monday 26 - Tuesday 27 June 2017


ConferenceFifth BSA Sociology of Food Study Group Conference 2017 Food and Society
NumberMonday 26 - Tuesday 27 June 2017
LocationWestminister University


  • health, nutrition and quality of life
  • Chronic disease
  • dietary counselling


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