Politicization of the Low-Carb High-Fat Diet in Sweden, Promoted On Social Media by Non-Conventional Experts

Politicization of the Low-Carb High-Fat Diet in Sweden, Promoted On Social Media by Non-Conventional Experts

Christopher Holmberg (University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijep.2015070103


The low-carb high fat (LCHF) diet, a buzz diet in Sweden, is stirring dogmatic conflict between dieters and representatives from the National Food Agency (NFA), even gaining international reputation. After gathering materials from social media and press reports covering the popular diet, a thematic analysis has been conducted. The aim of this study was to investigate how three non-conventional experts and influential promoters of the LCHF movement transact their criticisms of current nutrition authorities, and how they utilize social media for their purpose. The diet has been highly politicized, creating distrust against the established scientific community. Findings indicate that events on the national level led to an increased public awareness of the LCHF diet, providing the supporters with invaluable opportunities to criticize the established nutritional community. This enabled certain prominent advocates of the diet to gain momentum while using features of social media to further the diet's believability.
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Low-Carbohydrate, High-Fat: A Controversial Diet And The Start Of A Food War

The best-known low-carbohydrate diet is probably the Atkins diet, proposed by the American cardiologist Robert Atkins (1972). Dismissing traditional dietary recommendations, the Atkins diet asks dieters to lose weight by avoiding carbohydrates while continuing to eat proteins and fats. Losing weight and gaining better health by consuming more lavishly is the alluring message. Considering the popularity of the diet and its variants, advocates of low-carb diets are often in open disagreement with nutritional authorities.

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