Food Ethics in an Intergenerational Perspective

Authored by: Michele Loi

The Routledge Handbook of Food Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138809130
eBook ISBN: 9781315745503
Adobe ISBN: 9781317595502


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The dominant controversy in food policy arguably revolves around an ideological conflict between supporters and opponents of state interference with individual liberty in the realm of food choices. According to public health scholars, effective policies against obesity involve obesity monitoring and extensive political interference with market freedom in the food sector. The all-encompassing scope of nutrition as a social and economic issue affects such different sectors as trade, agriculture, transport, urban planning, and economic development, all amenable to regulation aimed at obesity prevention and control (Gortmaker et al. 2011). This raises the specter of state paternalism, i.e., government-backed interference for the sake of promoting the good of the individuals interfered with. A widely shared belief among liberals is that the paternalistic public policy cannot be justified from the moral point of view (Dworkin 2010; Mill 1859).

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