Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

Despite the centrality of health to collective well-being, many people fail to heed, or critically question, human or environmental health advice. Our research explores individual knowledge of key issues targeted by government health campaigns and policy guidelines for risks faced daily through food and water consumption and documents information sources participants used for air, water, environment, and health risk/quality advice. Findings challenge stereotypical assumptions that higher-educated individuals have high health and environmental literacy. Despite many holding general and advanced degrees, variation and illiteracy emerged regarding awareness of daily recommended dietary guidelines, with limited awareness of daily recommendations for fruit and vegetables and varied knowledge about fried food, dairy, and red meat consumption. While many knew treating tank or river water is required before consumption, several were unaware of the associated risks. The Internet and television constituted participants’ key information sources for all issues examined. Given the high cost, negative effects, and risks (including death) from poor diet and exposure to microbiologically-contaminated water, we argue new ways of communicating health and environmental risk factors are required that a) bypass political, economic, and corporatist interests; b) engender critical knowledge consumption; and c) incorporate demographically-relevant strategies and campaigns reflecting individualistic and group practices/preferences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCities and Successful Societies
EditorsMark Chou
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherThe Sociological Association of Australia (TASA)
Pages276-284
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780646964805
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event2016 TASA Conference - The Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 28 Nov 201601 Dec 2016
https://tasa.org.au/tasa-conference/2016-tasa-conference/

Conference

Conference2016 TASA Conference
Abbreviated titleCities and Successful Societies
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period28/11/1601/12/16
Internet address

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Environmental Health
Food
Water
Health Literacy
Nutrition Policy
Group Practice
Television
Health
Health Policy
Health Promotion
Rivers
Vegetables
Internet
Drinking
Fruit
Air
Economics
Guidelines
Diet
Costs and Cost Analysis

Cite this

Ragusa, A., & Crampton, A. (2016). Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia. In M. Chou (Ed.), 2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Cities and Successful Societies (pp. 276-284). Melbourne: The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA).
Ragusa, Angela ; Crampton, Andrea. / Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia. 2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Cities and Successful Societies. editor / Mark Chou. Melbourne : The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA), 2016. pp. 276-284
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Ragusa, A & Crampton, A 2016, Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia. in M Chou (ed.), 2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Cities and Successful Societies. The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA), Melbourne, pp. 276-284, 2016 TASA Conference, Melbourne, Australia, 28/11/16.

Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia. / Ragusa, Angela; Crampton, Andrea.

2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Cities and Successful Societies. ed. / Mark Chou. Melbourne : The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA), 2016. p. 276-284.

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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PY - 2016

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AB - Despite the centrality of health to collective well-being, many people fail to heed, or critically question, human or environmental health advice. Our research explores individual knowledge of key issues targeted by government health campaigns and policy guidelines for risks faced daily through food and water consumption and documents information sources participants used for air, water, environment, and health risk/quality advice. Findings challenge stereotypical assumptions that higher-educated individuals have high health and environmental literacy. Despite many holding general and advanced degrees, variation and illiteracy emerged regarding awareness of daily recommended dietary guidelines, with limited awareness of daily recommendations for fruit and vegetables and varied knowledge about fried food, dairy, and red meat consumption. While many knew treating tank or river water is required before consumption, several were unaware of the associated risks. The Internet and television constituted participants’ key information sources for all issues examined. Given the high cost, negative effects, and risks (including death) from poor diet and exposure to microbiologically-contaminated water, we argue new ways of communicating health and environmental risk factors are required that a) bypass political, economic, and corporatist interests; b) engender critical knowledge consumption; and c) incorporate demographically-relevant strategies and campaigns reflecting individualistic and group practices/preferences.

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Ragusa A, Crampton A. Risky food and water? Health and environmental knowledge and information-seeking in Australia. In Chou M, editor, 2016 Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) Conference: Cities and Successful Societies. Melbourne: The Sociological Association of Australia (TASA). 2016. p. 276-284