Big Food’s Ambivalence: Seeking Profit and Responsibility for Health

Tjidde Tempels*, Marcel Verweij, Vincent Blok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we critically reflect on the responsibilities that the food industry has for public health. Although food companies are often significant contributors to public health problems (e.g., obesity, type 2 diabetes), the mere possibility of corporate responsibility for public health seems to be excluded in the academic public health discourse.
We argue that the behavior of several food companies reflects a split corporate personality, as they contribute to public health problems and simultaneously engage in activities to prevent them.
By understanding responsibility for population health as a shared responsibility, we reassess the moral role of the food industry from a forward-looking perspective on responsibility and ask what food companies can and should do to promote health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-406
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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