Publication Details

McMahon, A., Williams, P. & Tapsell, L. C. (2010). Reviewing the meanings of wellness and well-being and their implications for food choice. Perspectives in Public Health, 130 (6), 282-286.


Wellness and wellbeing are terms found in a broad range of literature such as economics, social science, food marketing and general social commentary. These terms are often used in contexts which encompass mental, physical and emotional health as well as broader more esoteric aspects of life satisfaction such as happiness. The terms wellness and wellbeing are also used ubiquitously and variably in health practice. However, there is limited understanding about the terms’ use in the broader health promotion context and how consumers might interpret these terms in the context of food and nutrition messages. The primary aim of this paper is to review how the terms of wellbeing and wellness are being utilized within a number of disciplines and describe implications for food choice. It is proposed if it can be identified how these terms are used by key players within the food system it will enable more effective communication across sectors. This may assist in the collaborative development of public health food nutrition messages that are consistent with the intended meaning.



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