Nutritionism, Commercialization and Food; Comment on “Buying Health: The Costs of Commercialism and an Alternative Philosophy”

Document Type : Commentary


Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA


In “Buying Health: the Costs of Commercialization and an Alternative Philosophy”, Larry R. Churchill and Shelley C. Churchill discuss the commercialization of health and, in particular, the commercialization of nutrition. In this commentary on their article, I draw a connection between Churchill and Churchill’s account of the commercialization of nutrition and Michael Pollan’s critique of “nutritionism”. I also offer a friendly amendment to Churchill and Churchill’s account, suggesting that the commercialization of nutrition is not a monolithic experience but it is rather widely challenged.


Main Subjects

1. Churchill LR, Churchill SC. Buying Health: The Costs of Commercialization and an Alternative Philosophy. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2013; 1: 91–3. doi: 10.15171/ijhpm.2013.14
2. Pollan M. Unhappy Meals. New York Times [serial on the Internet]. [updated 2007 Jan 28; cited 2013 Sep 10]; Available from:
3. Pollan M. The omnivore’s dilemma: a natural history of four meals. New York: Penguin Press; 2006. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8276.2007.00998_5.x
4. Pollan M. In defense of food: an eater’s manifesto. New York: Penguin Press; 2009. doi: 10.1080/02763910902832289
5. Guthman J. Fast food/organic food: Reflexive tastes and the making of “yuppie chow.” Soc Cult Geogr 2003; 4: 45–58. doi: 10.1080/1464936032000049306
6. Organic Consumers Association [homepage on the Internet]. Corporate Organics: Yuppie Chow for the Elite. Finland: Organic Consumers Association; c2007; [cited 2013 Sep 10]. Available from: