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Title: Doing calories: the practices of dieting using calorie counting app MyFitnessPal
Authors: Didziokaite, Gabija
Saukko, Paula
Greiffenhagen, Christian
Keywords: Self-tracking
Calorie counting
Quantified self
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: © Emerald Publishing Limited
Citation: DIDZIOKAITE, G., SAUKKO, P. and GREIFFENHAGEN, C., 2018. Doing calories: the practices of dieting using calorie counting app MyFitnessPal. IN: Ajana, B. (ed.). Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices. Bingley: Emerald, Chapter 8, pp. 137-156.
Abstract: The existing literature on fatness has critically discussed meanings and morals associated with body weight and explored people’s experiences of weight loss attempts. However, little attention has been paid to the practices of dieting – how it is ‘done’. Based on an interview study involving 31 participants, who shared their self-tracking experience of using the MyFitnessPal calorie counting app, we focus on the practices of ‘doing’ calories. First, we discuss the practices of temporality of logging food, showing that the use of MyFitnessPal not only has to be fitted into daily routines but can also transform them. Then, we look at the practices of precision or users’ various ways of turning the ‘messiness’ of food into precise numbers. Lastly, we explore users’ practices of adjustments – their attitudes to adherence to their daily calorie goal and ways of dealing with going above it. Based on our findings we suggest calorie counting is not a straightforward data collection, but one that involves constant practical strategies and negotiations, and can both influence and be influenced by other everyday practices.
Description: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Emerald in Metric Culture: Ontologies of Self-Tracking Practices on 24 September 2018, available online: https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/detail/Metric-Culture/?K=9781787432901.
Version: Accepted for publication
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/32592
Publisher Link: https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/detail/Metric-Culture/?K=9781787432901
ISBN: 9781787432901
Appears in Collections:Book Chapters (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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