Public health, ethics, and functional foods

Functional foods aim to provide a positive impact on health and well-being beyond their nutritive content. As such, they are likely candidates to enhance the public health official’s tool kit. Or are they? Although a very small number of functional foods (e.g., phytosterol-enriched margarine) show such promise in improving individual health that Dutch health insurance companies reimburse their costs to consumers, one must not draw premature conclusions about functional foods as a group. A large number of questions about individual products’ safety, efficacy, and affordability need to be answered before they might become an important part of the public health agenda. More importantly, though, the costs and benefits of functional foods relative to alternative mechanisms of public health improvement need to be ascertained. Alternative scenarios that warrant investigation are mainly the supply of nutraceutical ingredients in pill form targeting “at risk” groups and consumer education on diet and lifestyle.
Keywords ethical matrix  food ethics  functional foods  nutrition  public health
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10806-007-9033-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,879
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Ben Mepham (2013). Food Ethics. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 10 (2):249-251.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #150,652 of 1,725,189 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #210,900 of 1,725,189 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.