Access the publisher's website Journal of Marketing Management (forthcoming)
Society has imposed strict rules about what constitutes a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ food and ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ eating behaviour at least since antiquity. Today, the moral discourse of what we should and should not eat is perhaps stronger than ever, and it informs consumers, researchers and policy-makers about what we all should consume, research and regulate. We propose four types of moralities, underlying sets of moral assumptions, that orient the contemporary discourses of food and health: the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ nature of food items, the virtue of self-control and moderation, the management of body size and the actions of market agents. We demonstrate how these moralities influence consumer behaviour as well as transformative research of food and health and develop a critical discussion of the impact of the underlying morality in each domain. We conclude by providing a few guidelines for changes in research questions, designs and methodologies for future research and call for a general reflection on the consequences of the uncovered moralities in research on food and health towards an inclusive view of food well-being.