Reducing Childhood Obesity Through Policy Change: Acting Now To Prevent Obesity

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Health Affairs (Impact Factor: 4.97). 03/2010; 29(3):357-63. DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0039
Source: PubMed


Childhood obesity is epidemic in the United States, and is expected to increase the rates of many chronic diseases. Increasing physical activity and improving nutrition are keys to obesity prevention and control. But changing individual behavior is difficult. A comprehensive, coordinated strategy is needed. Policy interventions that make healthy dietary and activity choices easier are likely to achieve the greatest benefits. There is emerging evidence on how to address childhood obesity, but we must take action now to begin to reverse the epidemic.

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    • "Over time the cost of these behaviours emerge. Childhood obesity is associated with a range of physical and psychological illnesses that continue to manifest into adulthood (Frieden et al. 2010). The estimated direct medical costs associated with obesity in the United States have been calculated at $26 billion per year (Cawley and Meyerhoefer 2012). "

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    • "The prevalence of diet-related diseases continues to increase across the world. This development is reinforced by an earlier onset of obesity in the younger stratum of the population and by the aging of many societies (Frieden, Dietz, and Collins 2010; Gortmaker et al. 2011). Previous attempts on the part of policy makers to induce healthy food choices by educating consumers have not yet led to major improvements or fundamental changes in actual behavior (Swinburn et al. 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The goal conflict between short-term indulgence and long-term health considerations is at the heart of unhealthy food choices, and thus, a key contributor to growing adiposity prevalence. Policy makers often attempt to promote healthy eating behaviors by raising consumers’ health consciousness. Given that previous health campaigns have fallen short of expectations, this article examines the potential of health consciousness to resolve the so-called unhealthy = tasty intuition (UTI). Study 1 explores whether health consciousness attenuates belief in the UTI and its detrimental consequences for food choice and body mass. Study 2 applies the Implicit Association Test to disentangle the intuition’s implicit and explicit processes. Results show that health consciousness operates only via cognitively controlled processes. Using real food products, Study 3 analyzes how health consciousness colors the influence of composition and labeling on tastiness and healthiness perceptions. The studies jointly demonstrate that the UTI partly works implicitly and independently of health consciousness. Hence, the obesity epidemic should be addressed through concerted actions that include policy makers’ health communication and the food industry’s product development.
    Journal of Public Policy & Marketing 05/2015; forthcoming(1). DOI:10.1509/jppm.14.006 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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    • "CBPM has been used in successful initiatives to delay the onset of tobacco and alcohol use among middle school–aged youth (Bell-Ellison et al., 2009; Bryant et al., 2007), to promote the use of safety glasses among agricultural workers (Luque et al., 2007; Monaghan et al., 2008, 2011, 2012; Tovar-Aguilar et al., 2014), and to promote participation in physical activity among youth (Alfonso et al., 2011; Bryant et al., 2010; McDermott, Davis, Bryant, Courtney, & Alfonso, 2010; Nickelson et al., 2011) and older adults (Burroughs et al., 2006). Because program interventions are difficult to sustain, many public health professionals have shifted their strategy for combating problems such as chronic disease away from programming (Bracht et al., 1994; McDermott, Baldwin, Bryant, & DeBate, 2010; Schwartz et al., 1993) and toward policy development (Faith, Fontaine, Baskin, & Allison, 2007; Frieden, Dietz, & Collins, 2010; Mello, Studdert, & Brennan, 2006; Ottoson et al., 2009). Public health policies include laws, regulations, written standards, and other rules that restrict or guide behavior to improve population-based health (Jilcott, Ammerman, Sommers, & Glasgow, 2007; Schmid, Pratt, & Howze, 1995). "

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