Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 41 (1):301-309 (2013)

Many anti-obesity policies face a variety of ethical objections. We consider one kind of anti-obesity policy — modifications to food assistance programs meant to improve participants' diet — and one kind of criticism of these policies, that they are inequitable. We take as our example the recent, unsuccessful effort by New York State to exclude sweetened beverages from the items eligible for purchase in New York City with Supplemental Nutrition Support Program assistance. We distinguish two equity-based ethical objections that were made to the sweetened beverage exclusion, and analyze these objections in terms of the theoretical notions of distributive equality and social equality. First, the sweetened beverage exclusion is unfair or violates distributive equality because it restricts the consumer choice of SNAP participants relative to non-participants. Second, it is disrespectful or violates social equality to prohibit SNAP participants from purchasing sweetened beverages with food stamps. We conclude that neither equity-based ethical objection is decisive, and that the proposed exclusion of sugar-sweetened beverages is not a violation of either distributive or social equality
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DOI 10.1111/jlme.12020
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References found in this work BETA

What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Inequality Re-Examined.David Archard & Amartya Sen - 1995 - Philosophical Quarterly 45 (181):553.
Equality: The Recent History of an Idea.Jonathan Wolff - 2007 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 4 (1):125-136.
Autonomy and Preference Formation.Richard Arneson - 1994 - In Joel Feinberg, Jules L. Coleman & Allen E. Buchanan (eds.), In Harm's Way: Essays in Honor of Joel Feinberg. Cambridge University Press. pp. 42--75.

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Citations of this work BETA

Obesity, Equity and Choice.Timothy M. Wilkinson - 2019 - Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (5):323-328.
I Eat, Therefore I Am: Disgust and the Intersection of Food and Identity.Daniel Kelly & Nicolae Morar - 2018 - In Tyler Doggett, Anne Barnhill & Mark Budolfson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 637 - 657.
Do Sugary Drinks Undermine the Core Purpose of SNAP?Anne Barnhill - 2019 - Public Health Ethics 12 (1):82-88.

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