Food, Health and Public Understanding on Health Claims of Functional Foods: A Case Study in Brazil

  • Márcia GRISOTTI
  • Fernando DIAS DE AVILA-PIRES

Abstract

In spite of the lack of international agreement concerning the term functional food, it represents one of the food sectors with more significant growth in global markets and at the same time one of the most controversial area situated between the food and drug boundaries. In this paper we discuss the meaning of functional foods and the impact of health promotion discourse (and healthy life) on the market and on the public perception of these products. Questionnaires, focus groups and in-depth individual interviews were applied to groups of elderly people in Florianópolis, Brazil. Trying to analyze their understanding of functional food, especially with the Brazilian Association of Cardiology seal, we found a broader perception of the role of food in the health-illness process; who guides the dietary changes, the difficulties in carrying out these changes; the strategies used to combine individual choice and experts/medical recommendations; and the public understanding of the scientific controversies and uncertainties related to food.

References


  • Avila-Pires, F.D. (2013), “A Distant Echo of Eco-epidemiology: A Review”, Revista de Patologia Tropical, vol. 42, pp. 1-12.
  • Beresford, S.A. (2006), “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial”, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 295 (6), pp. 655-666.
  • Codex Alimentarius Commission (2003), “Appendix IV: Draft Guidelines for Use of Nutrition and Health Claims”, Report of the Thirty-First Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling, http://www.codexalimentarius.org/input/download/report/31/al0322Ae.pdf. (acesso: 9.08.2013).
  • FDA (Food and Drug Administration), (s/f), Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/FederalFoodDrugandCosmeticActFDCAct/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/ucm148003.htm (acesso: 12.03.2010).
  • Friedman, S.M., Dunwoody, S., Rogers, C.L. (1999), “Preface and introduction”, em: Communicating Uncertainty: Media Coverage of New and Controversial Science, New Jersey, US, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 7-14.
  • Grisotti, M. (2010), “Alegações de saúde dos alimentos funcionais: condições para a sua emergência e seu impacto na saúde individual e colectiva”, em: J. Guivant, G. Spaargaren, C. Rial (org.), Novas práticas alimentares no mercado global, Florianopolis: Editora da UFSC, pp. 189-210.
  • Hasler, C.M. (2000), “The Changing Face of Functional Foods”, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 19 (5), http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724 (acesso: 5.03.2012).
  • Hasler, C.M. (2002), “Functional Foods: Benefits, Concerns and Challenges – A Position Paper from the American Council on Science and Health”, The Journal of Nutrition,vol. 132 (12), pp. 3772-3781.
  • Hasler, C.M. (2008), “Health Claims in the United States: And Aid to the or a Source of Confusion?”, The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 138 (6), pp. 1216-1220.
  • Halsted, C.H. (2003), “Dietary supplements and functional foods: 2 sides of a coin?”, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 77 (4), pp. 1001-1007.
  • Heasman, M., Mellantin, J. (2001), The Functional Foods Revolution: Healthy People, Healthy Profits?, London, UK: Earthscan.
  • Howard, B.V. (2006), “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial”, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 295 (6), pp. 655-666.
  • Jones, P.J. (2002), “Clinical Nutrition: 7. Functional Foods – More Than Just Nutrition”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, vol. 166 (12), pp. 1555-1563.
  • Jones, P.J., Jew S. (2007), “Functional Food Development: Concept to Reality”. Trends in Food Science & Technology, n. 18, pp. 387-390.
  • Katan, M.B. (2004), “Health Claims for Functional Foods”, British Medical Journal, n. 328 (7433), pp. 180-181.
  • Katan, M.B., Roos, N.M. (2003), “Toward Evidence-Based Health Claims for Foods”, Science, n. 299, pp. 206-207.
  • Katan, M.B., Roos, N.M. (2004), “Promises and Problems of Functional Foods”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 44 (5), pp. 369-377.
  • Kunh, T. (1970), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Lang, T. (2007), “Functional Foods”, British Medical Journal, n. 334, pp. 1015-1016.
  • Latour, B., Woolgar, S. (1979), Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts. Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Lawrence, M., Rayner, M. (1998), “Functional Foods and Health Claims: A Public Health Policy Perspective”, Public Health Nutrition, n. 1 (2), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10933403 (acesso: 14.02.2011).
  • Nestle, M. (2002), Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Prentice, R.L. (2006), “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Invasive Breast Cancer: The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial”, JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 295 (6), pp. 629-642.
  • Rayner, M. (1998), “Systematic Review as a Method for Assessing the Validity of Health Claims”, em: M.J. Sadler, M. Saltmarsh, Functional Foods. The Consumer, The Products, the Evidence, Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, pp. 174-183.
  • Roberfroid, M.B. (1999), “What is Beneficial for Health? The Concept of Functional Food”, Food and Chemical Toxicology, n. 37, pp. 1039-1041.
  • Sachs, L. (1996), “Causality, Responsibility and Blame – Core Issues in the Cultural Construction and Subtext of Prevention”, Sociology of Health & Illness, vol. 18 (5), pp. 632-652.
  • Pollan, M. (2008), In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, New York: Penguin Press.
  • Scrinis, G. (2008a), “Functional Foods or Functionally Marketed Foods? A Critique of, and Alternatives to, the Category of «Functional Foods»”, Public Health Nutrition, vol. 11 (5), pp. 541-545.
  • Scrinis, G. (2008b), “On the Ideology of Nutritionism”, Gastronômica: The Journal of Food and Culture; vol. 8 (1), pp. 39-48.
  • Shiby, V.K., Mishra, H.N. (2013), “Fermented Milks and Milk Products as Functional Foods – a Review”, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, vol. 53 (5), pp. 482--496.
  • World Health Organization, World Health Organization Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization, 1946, http://whqlibdoc.who.int/hist/official_records/2e.pdf (acesso: 12.03.2010).
  • World Health Organization (2003), “Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease”, Technical Report Series. http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/en/ (acesso: 12.03.2010).
  • World Health Organization (2004), Nutrition Label and Health Claims: The Global Regulatory Environment. Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster, http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/42964 (acesso: 12.08.2010).
  • Zeisel, S.H. (1999), “Regulation of "Nutraceuticals”, Science, n. 17, pp. 1853-1855.
Published
2016-12-13
How to Cite
GRISOTTI, Márcia; DIAS DE AVILA-PIRES, Fernando. Food, Health and Public Understanding on Health Claims of Functional Foods: A Case Study in Brazil. Revista del CESLA, [S.l.], n. 19, p. 153-174, dec. 2016. ISSN 2081-1160. Available at: <http://revistadelcesla.com/index.php/revistadelcesla/article/view/10>. Date accessed: 24 sep. 2017.
Section
Articles