Obesity and the Economics of Prevention
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Obesity and the Economics of Prevention

Fit not Fat

Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight.  A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.   

This book contributes to evidence-based policy making by exploring multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. It examines the scale and characteristics of the epidemic, the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments, and the impact of interventions. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides novel insights relative to a more traditional public health approach. 

The analysis was undertaken by the OECD, partly in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The main chapters are complemented by special contributions from health and obesity experts, including Marc Suhrcke, Tim Lobstein, Donald Kenkel and Francesco Branca. 

"a valuable set of results and suggestions about the best preventive interventions to reduce the burden of obesity."   – Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard School of Public Health

 

"The positive message of this book is that the obesity epidemic can be successfully addressed."   – Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization

 

"innovative and well-researched"  – Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

 

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Publication Date :
23 Sep 2010
DOI :
10.1787/9789264084865-en
 
Chapter
 

The Impact of Interventions You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Pages :
175–209
DOI :
10.1787/9789264084865-14-en

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Governments in OECD countries have intervened in a variety of ways to improve diets, increase physical activity and tackle obesity in recent years. The preventive interventions assessed in this analysis are drawn from the most commonly used approaches, including: health education and health promotion (mass media campaigns, school-based interventions, worksite interventions); regulation and fiscal measures (fiscal measures altering the prices of healthy and unhealthy foods, regulation of food advertising to children and mandatory nutrition labelling); and, counselling of individuals at risk in primary care. This chapter examines the characteristics, the costs and the relative success of each approach in improving health outcomes and social disparities in health, with a focus on five OECD countries: Canada, England, Italy, Japan and Mexico.
Also available in: French