Fat debates and fat consumption in Finland

In “Newspaper debates on milk fats and vegetable oils in Finland, 1978 – 2013: An analysis of conflicts over risks, expertise, evidence and pleasure“, we analysed debates over dietary fats in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. We found four debated themes regarding the consumption of dietary fats: the health risks of saturated fats, expertise of the risks of fat consumption, adequate evidence of the risks of fat consumption and framing the fats question. In the early 2000s new emphasis began to emerge: personal experiences were increasingly presented as evidence of the effects of fats on human health, and the question of fat was framed either as one of enjoyment or of consumers’ right to choose, rather than being only a public health question.

In “Dietary fat choices in Finland. Long-term trends and short-term changes, 1978–2014” we analysed consumption of different fat products (bread spreads and cooking fats) between 1978 – 2013. The study shows that instead of a uniform transformation from animal to vegetable fats, there have been multiple developments simultaneously, and not all of them unambiguously agree with the “success story” discourse. The changes were related to novel fat products, health policy interventions, cultural trends, public debates on dietary fats, and fad diets

An article of the research in Iltalehti 1.4.2016


See also the previous publications in FAT project:


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