Strengthening of accountability systems to create healthy food environments and reduce global obesity

Swinburn, Boyd, Kraak, Vivica, Rutter, Harry, Vandevijvere, Stefanie, Lobstein, Tim, Sacks, Gary, Gomes, Fabio, Marsh, Tim and Magnusson, Roger 2015, Strengthening of accountability systems to create healthy food environments and reduce global obesity, Lancet, vol. 385, no. 9986, pp. 2534-2545, doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61747-5.

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Title Strengthening of accountability systems to create healthy food environments and reduce global obesity
Author(s) Swinburn, Boyd
Kraak, Vivica
Rutter, Harry
Vandevijvere, Stefanie
Lobstein, Tim
Sacks, GaryORCID iD for Sacks, Gary orcid.org/0000-0001-9736-1539
Gomes, Fabio
Marsh, Tim
Magnusson, Roger
Journal name Lancet
Volume number 385
Issue number 9986
Start page 2534
End page 2545
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1474-547X
Summary To achieve WHO's target to halt the rise in obesity and diabetes, dramatic actions are needed to improve the healthiness of food environments. Substantial debate surrounds who is responsible for delivering effective actions and what, specifically, these actions should entail. Arguments are often reduced to a debate between individual and collective responsibilities, and between hard regulatory or fiscal interventions and soft voluntary, education-based approaches. Genuine progress lies beyond the impasse of these entrenched dichotomies. We argue for a strengthening of accountability systems across all actors to substantially improve performance on obesity reduction. In view of the industry opposition and government reluctance to regulate for healthier food environments, quasiregulatory approaches might achieve progress. A four step accountability framework (take the account, share the account, hold to account, and respond to the account) is proposed. The framework identifies multiple levers for change, including quasiregulatory and other approaches that involve government-specified and government-monitored progress of private sector performance, government procurement mechanisms, improved transparency, monitoring of actions, and management of conflicts of interest. Strengthened accountability systems would support government leadership and stewardship, constrain the influence of private sector actors with major conflicts of interest on public policy development, and reinforce the engagement of civil society in creating demand for healthy food environments and in monitoring progress towards obesity action objectives.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)61747-5
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
160508 Health Policy
Socio Economic Objective 920411 Nutrition
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Grant ID NHMRC 1041020
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30074133

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