Injustice in Food-Related Public Health Problems: A Matter of Corporate Responsibility

Tjidde Tempels, Vincent Blok, Marcel Verweij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The responsibility of the food and beverage industry for noncommunicable diseases is a controversial topic. Public health scholars identify the food and beverage industry as one of the main contributors to the rise of these diseases. We argue that aside from moral duties like not doing harm and respecting consumer autonomy, the food industry also has a responsibility for addressing the structural injustices involved in food-related health problems. Drawing on the work of Iris Marion Young, this article first shows how food-related public health problems can be understood as structural injustices. Second, it makes clear how the industry is sustaining these health injustices, and that due to this connection, corporate actors share responsibility for addressing food-related health problems. Finally, three criteria (capacity, benefit, and vulnerability) are discussed as grounds for attributing responsibility, allowing for further specification on what taking responsibility for food-related health problems can entail in corporate practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-413
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • corporate responsibility
  • food and beverage industry
  • noncommunicable diseases
  • public health
  • structural injustice


Dive into the research topics of 'Injustice in Food-Related Public Health Problems: A Matter of Corporate Responsibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this