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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a brief introduction to obesity prevention and discusses some ethical concerns with obesity prevention efforts, as well as some ethical arguments for them. A first set of ethical issues centers on justice and the perceived inequity or unfairness of obesity prevention efforts, as well as justice-based arguments for obesity prevention efforts targeted at disadvantaged groups. A second set of ethical issues concerns stigma, responsibility, and moral blame, and whether obesity discourse and efforts inappropriately stigmatize or assign responsibility to individuals. A third set of ethical concerns focuses on choice, and whether government regulation of the marketplace is problematically paternalistic. After providing a brief overview of these ethical concerns with obesity prevention, the chapter ends by arguing that the ethical conversation would be enriched by more fully incorporating a discussion of the value of eating.

Keywords: obesity prevention, paternalism, choice, justice, fairness, responsibility, stigma, public health ethics

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