With all Due Caution: Global Anti-Obesity Campaigns and the Individualization of Responsibility

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 8 (2):226-249 (2015)
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Obesity is one of several targets of public health efforts related to availability of and access to healthy foods. The tension between individual food decisions and social contexts of food production, preparation, and consumption makes targeting individuals deeply problematic and yet tempting. Such individualization of responsibility for obesity and nutrition is unethical and impractical. This article warns public health campaigns against giving into the temptation to individualize responsibility, and presents an argument for why they should proceed with all due caution, advising providers and public health organizations to keep in mind structural factors rather than aiming at individuals.

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Alison Reiheld
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


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