According to an online article from the Obesity Action Coalition, in the United States there are approximately three hundred thousand fast-food establishments and 33.8% percent of the country’s population is obese. But how closely are the two connected? Who’s to blame if they are? Judith Schrempf discusses this in her article “A Social Connection Approach to Corporate Responsibility: The Case of Fast-Food Industry and Obesity” from Business and Society.
Corporate responsibility for consumption-related issues has been on the business ethics agenda for several decades. However, some recent consumption-related issues, such as obesity, differ qualitatively from the traditional product liability cases. This study proposes an alternative responsibility concept, referred to as the social connection corporate responsibility (CR). A detailed conceptualization of the social connection CR is presented and subsequently contrasted with the liability approach to CR. Then, a social connection logic to the case of obesity is applied, followed by an examination of how fast-food chains are socially connected to obesity and of what kind of responsibilities such a social connection implies.
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