A source of our wealth, yet adverse to our health? Butter and the diet-heart link in New Zealand to c.1990

Frances Steel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The medical link between dietary saturated fat, serum cholesterol, and arteriosclerosis redefined meanings for butter in New Zealand, from a celebrated dietary staple to a potentially harmful substance to be closely monitored in the diet. The introduction of a nutritionally endorsed butter substitute, polyunsaturated margarine, heightened this shift. This article addresses the ways in which such links are taken up and negotiated outside the medical sphere. It examines the responses of government, nutritional organizations, the dairy industry, commercial interests, women responsible for feeding coronary heart disease sufferers, and everyday butter consumers. The article concludes that rearticulating meanings for butter along medicalized lines was a highly fraught undertaking, particularly in a country in which dairying was of central economic importance and underpinned national iconography.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)475-93
    JournalSocial History of Medicine
    Volume18
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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