ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the role of deliberate choice in consumer feeding behavior and its connection to obesity. Consumer's food choices satisfy the voluntariness condition for consent. Here, decision-makers must be free to make decisions that reflect self-interest; critically, the decision-maker must be free from either coercion or manipulation. The guiding assumption of each of these initiatives is that providing information about the nutritional composition of food items and guidelines for a diet that maintains a healthy weight enables consumers to make better dietary choices. Overweight and obesity is, after all, a matter of choice, the logic goes, and those who continue to make bad choices are lazy, indiscriminate, and impulsive people. Indeed, obesity experts now know that the condition has multiple interacting causes, including ones that are genetic, metabolic, psychological, sociocultural, and environmental. Intervention strategies, alas, have not caught up with this scientific knowledge.