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Food Study Group


The BSA Food Study Group joined forces with the Scottish Colloquium on Food and Feeding (SCOFF) in 1994. The group aims to encourage the sociological analysis, both theoretical and empirical, of all aspects of food production and consumption.


The Food Study Group holds hour long seminars and longer, themed, events throughout the UK. The aim is to provide a forum for stimulating debate amongst academics, practitioners and others interested or involved in social science research on food, diet and eating.


SCOFF is re-launching.  We would like to invite proposals to host future events. Simply e-mail Andrea Tonner with your thoughts.

The History of the BSA Food Study Group

Murcott, A. (2011). The BSA and the Emergence of a 'Sociology of Food': A Personal View. SociologicalResearchOnline 2011 16(3):14

In this paper, which is free to access, Professor Anne Murcott provides a personal view of the history of the BSA and the emergence of a nameable 'Sociology of Food'. Many thanks to Anne for writing this paper and for granting permission to signpost it here.

Forthcoming Events

Food Study Group London Lunch and Seminar Series


1 October 2014

Healthier takeaways: a bumpy voyage going upstream with Sue Bagwell and Professor Eileen O’Keefe, London Metropolitan University

University of Westminster, Cavendish Campus, Room CLG.03 (10.30am -12.30pm, followed by informal lunch at a local restaurant)


Fast food takeaways are believed to be an important contributory factor to the obesogenic environment and their prevalence linked to growing levels of obesity, deprivation and health inequalities. Public health advocates have encouraged use of the planning regime to restrict the growth of new takeaways and on encouraging existing takeaways to adopt healthier menus and catering practices. Central government policy emphasises voluntary action by food businesses and better informed choices by consumers. Healthier catering initiatives, however, have been more successful in improving the healthiness of takeaways in more affluent communities than deprived areas, leading to suggestions that such initiatives may unwittingly be increasing health inequalities


This seminar will present findings from an ESRC Knowledge Exchange funded project (Supporting interventions for healthier catering: tools and resources for SMEs in the independent fast food sector (ESRC ES/L002051/1) which has sought to develop a more nuanced understanding of the barriers fast food takeaways operating in deprived areas face in adopting healthier catering practices,  and to identify the extent to which sustainable healthier business models are feasible in such contexts, and whether intervention further up the supply chain is needed.  The project has involved a survey of healthier catering initiatives across the UK, work with suppliers to encourage product reformulation, and interviews with 30 fast food operators in London designed to identify best practice in healthier catering and barriers to change. Consideration of the nutritional supply chain is consistent with approaches to inequalities in health using a Social Determinants of Health framework and deployment of evidence on the operation of corporate power in shaping food environments. 


  • Sue Bagwell is Research Development Manager with the Cities Institute, London Metropolitan University and specialises in research on ethnic minority entrepreneurship, particularly in the fast food sector
  • Professor Eileen O’Keefe is Emeritus Professor of Public Health, in the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University

Please note that this event is free to attend but places are limited and the cost of lunch is not included. To reserve a place please email Rebecca O’Connell, noting whether you will be joining us for lunch.


All meetings are held at the University of Westminster, Cavendish Campus, 115 New Cavendish Street, London.


Please visit our Past Events page for further details of our activities.

Annual Report

The Food Study Group Annual Report is now available. 

Joining the Group

Members receive regular e-newsletters and discounted rates for study group events. Students and non-academics are very welcome to join, along with academics and researchers from any discipline. The multi-disciplinary/ multi-sectoral nature of the membership promotes vibrant discussion and is encouraged. There is a joining fee of £46, waived for the unwaged and individuals who are already members of the BSA. To join, complete the Joining Form and email to Hannah Lambie-Mumford 

Contact the Convenor(s)

Suggestions for speakers, venues and other events are always welcomed. Details of relevant books, events, news, funding and jobs can also be added to the website.


Hannah Lambie-Mumford

University of Sheffield

Send an email.


Rebecca O'Connell

Institute of Education

Send an email.


Andrea Tonner

University of Strathclyde

Send an email.

Links to Relevant/Current Research

Australian Food, Society and Culture Network - This network has been established to allow researchers and policy makers located in Australia who are interested in the social and cultural aspects of food and eating to connect with each other. It is hoped this network will foster interdisciplinary projects and other research synergies.


Dr Karen Throsby’s wonderful evening talk at Food & Society 2012, ‘Dreaming of Jelly babies' is now available on the British Library's Sport and Society webpages in a special section on food:


Food Stories is an interactive website, designed primarily for KS3 and KS4 citizenship and geography students.  It traces the changes that have taken place in the UK's food culture over the last century.  Students can play with colourful animations and listen to audio interviews from the British Library Sound Archive to investigate the ways in which food relates to identity, cultural diversity, the environment, technology, farming, shopping, travel and much more.


The Association for the Study of Food and Society is a multidisciplinary international organisation dedicated to exploring the complex relationships among food, culture, and society.  The ASFS publishes a useful list of course outlines with bibliographies on topics relevant to the sociology of food, food anthropology, agriculture and society etc, which some members might find useful.


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