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This article explores how food-related practices are discursively constructed in an employee wellness program (EWP). Drawing on qualitative grounded theory analyses of internal-and external-facing EWP materials, the author theorizes how food-related practices, technology, institutional power, and wellness intersect. By entwining health, medicine, and food under the umbrella of wellness, the EWP promotes food-as-wellness (eating the right foods will lead to individual holistic well-being by improving the already-healthy person) while incenting and effectuating food-as-medicine (eating the right foods can help cure individual illness/disease or intervene as a treatment for a disease risk factor such as overweight or obesity) because of food-as-economics (collectively eating the right foods can help solve rising health insurance costs). The theory advanced in this article expands our understanding of wellness discourses and points to the need for research examining how such discourse impacts lived experience.
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