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Obesity prevention : the role of policies, laws and regulations

Swinburn, Boyd 2008, Obesity prevention : the role of policies, laws and regulations, Australia and New Zealand health policy, vol. 5, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1186/1743-8462-5-12.

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Title Obesity prevention : the role of policies, laws and regulations
Author(s) Swinburn, Boyd
Journal name Australia and New Zealand health policy
Volume number 5
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publication date 2008-06-05
ISSN 1743-8462
Summary The commercial drivers of the obesity epidemic are so influential that obesity can be considered a robust sign of commercial success – consumers are buying more food, more cars and more energy-saving machines. It is unlikely that these powerful economic forces will change sufficiently in response to consumer desires to eat less and move more or corporate desires to be more socially responsible. When the free market creates substantial population detriments and health inequalities, government policies are needed to change the ground rules in favour of population benefits.
Concerted action is needed from governments in four broad areas: provide leadership to set the agenda and show the way; advocate for a multi-sector response and establish the mechanisms for all sectors to engage and enhance action; develop and implement policies (including laws and regulations) to create healthier food and activity environments, and; secure increased and continued funding to reduce obesogenic environments and promote healthy eating and physical activity.
Policies, laws and regulations are often needed to drive the environmental and social changes that, eventually, will have a sustainable impact on reducing obesity. An 'obesity impact assessment' on legislation such as public liability, urban planning, transport, food safety, agriculture, and trade may identify 'rules' which contribute to obesogenic environments. In other areas, such as marketing to children, school food, and taxes/levies, there may be opportunities for regulations to actively support obesity prevention. Legislation in other areas such as to reduce climate change may also contribute to obesity prevention ('stealth interventions'). A political willingness to use policy instruments to drive change will probably be an early hallmark of successful obesity prevention.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/1743-8462-5-12
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920208 Health Inequalities
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2008 Swinburn; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017504

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.