Taking the biscuit? A discursive approach to managing diet in type 2 diabetes

Elizabeth A. Peel*, Odette Parry, Margaret Douglas, Julia Lawton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adopting and maintaining a healthy diet is pivotal to diabetic regimens. Behavioural research has focused on strategies to modify/maintain healthy behaviours; thus 'compliance' and 'non-compliance' are operationalized by researchers. In contrast, discursive psychology focuses on the actions different accounts accomplish-in this case regarding diets. Using thematic discourse analysis, we examine dietary management talk in repeat-interviews with 40 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients. Women in our study tended to construct dietary practices as an individual concern, while men presented food consumption as a family matter. Participants accounted for 'cheating' in complex ways that aim to accomplish, for instance, a compliant identity. Discursive psychology may facilitate fluidity in our understandings of dietary management, and challenge fixed notions of 'compliant' and 'non-compliant' diabetes patients. Copyright © 2005 SAGE Publications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-791
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • compliance
  • diabetic regimen
  • Diet
  • discourse analysis
  • type 2 diabetes


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