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Health & Nutrition / Publication Abstract

Restricted pleasure for healthy eating and food well-being

Sep 9, 2019

Tonya Williams Bradford, Sonya Grier

Health & Nutrition
Consumer Well-Being



The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship of dietary restriction and food well-being (FWB) in an under-researched population using a novel but growing approach to transition to healthier eating patterns.


This study uses individual interviews of African-American participants in a food detoxification program, a specific form of food restriction used to transition to healthier eating.


Results identify how food socialization and food literacy enable individuals to transform their relationship with food and enhance their FWB. Unlike prior research that focuses on food as the source of pleasure, this study finds that food is deployed as fuel, and this transition results in pleasure.


This research explains how a voluntary transition to healthier eating enables people to pursue FWB and extends the understanding of FWB (Block et al., 2011). In addition, this research contributes novel insights related to transformative consumer research efforts to motivate change. Findings have implications for marketing theory and practice, including the development of social marketing campaigns to support healthy eating patterns, especially for at-risk populations.

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