Food, Physicians, And Force: An Ethical Exploration Of The “Nudge”

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karoly Majtenyi (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Matt Ruble

Abstract: A ‘nudge’ is a discrete change to the environment in which someone makes a choice. While they may not consciously notice the change, it may push them towards a decision. The nudge has received a lot of attention in bioethics lately because physicians and other interested parties may use health-promoting nudges to influence people’s lifestyles. Generally, the literature as a whole is constricting physicians’ ability to nudge on moral grounds. In a vacuum, this seems just, but when one steps back and looks at the wave of health-impeding nudges from private corporations, it seems useless. The current literature pays no attention to these health-impeding nudges from private corporations. First, I aim to expose the interdependence of health and lifestyle through reviewing the field of nutrition. Next, I show how commodification in the food industry alienates people from food and lifestyle, and thus their health. I seek to reframe the nudge in the sociohistorical context of late-stage capitalism where food regimes create lifestyle inequalities, bring the health-impeding nudges of private corporations into the discussion, and free physicians from their moral constraints.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Majtenyi, K. (2019). Food, Physicians, And Force: An Ethical Exploration Of The “Nudge.” Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2019
Nutrition, Medicine and Health, Food Regimes, Nudge, Bioethics, ethics

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