past Project

The Symbolic Meaning of Food Among African-American Men

Dietary pattern is a major risk factor for many chronic diseases and conditions. As such, a critical effort in primary prevention among Black men, for whom morbidity and mortality is high, is to promote healthful dietary patterns. A prerequisite to this effort is an understanding of the social meanings of food in this population. Simply exhorting Black men to consume particular types or servings of food may not be effective if recommendations are contrary to the symbolic uses or social meanings surrounding food or ignore pragmatic concerns about who actually prepares meals. However, there is no available literature on what constitutes social aspects of food choice for Black men. We conducted a pilot study comprising qualitative interviews with Black men in New York City.