Moralities in food and health research

Society has imposed strict rules about what constitutes a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ food and ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ eating behaviour at least since antiquity. Today, the moral discourse of what we should and should not eat is perhaps stronger than ever, and it informs consumers, researchers and policy-makers about what we all should consume, research and regulate. We propose four types of moralities, underlying sets of moral assumptions, that orient the contemporary discourses of food and health: the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ nature of food items, the virtue of self-control and moderation, the management of body size and the actions of market agents. We demonstrate how these moralities influence consumer behaviour as well as transformative research of food and health and develop a critical discussion of the impact of the underlying morality in each domain. We conclude by providing a few guidelines for changes in research questions, designs and methodologies for future research and call for a general reflection on the consequences of the uncovered moralities in research on food and health towards an inclusive view of food well-being.


agent (philosophy)  ambiguity  body size  consumer ethics  ethics  food  food research  governmentality  health  life quality  morality  nutrition  public health research  quality of life  self-control 


Søren Askegaard, Nailya Ordabayeva, Pierre Chandon, Tracy Cheung, Zuzana Chytkova, Yann Cornil, Canan Corus, Julie A. Edell, Daniele Mathras, Astrid Franziska Junghans, Dorthe Brogaard Kristensen, Ilona Mikkonen, Elizabeth G. Miller, Nada Sayarh, and Carolina Werle (2014). Moralities in food and health research. Journal of Marketing Management, 30, Pages 1800-1832.



Søren Askegaard
Nailya Ordabayeva
Pierre Chandon
Tracy Cheung
Zuzana Chytkova
Yann Cornil
Canan Corus
Julie A. Edell
Daniele Mathras
Astrid Franziska Junghans
Dorthe Brogaard Kristensen
Ilona Mikkonen
Elizabeth G. Miller
Nada Sayarh
Carolina Werle

Journal of Marketing Management | 2014

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