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Obesity and the Economics of Prevention

Fit not Fat

image of Obesity and the Economics of Prevention

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



"A timely, valuable volume on a critical issue.  Highly recommended."-Choice, July 2011

 

 

 

 

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Foreword

“There was a fat boy in our street. People called him fatso”, observes the main character in Kieron Smith, Boy, a novel by James Kellman narrated from the point of view of a child from the time he is 4 to almost 13. Through his eyes, we see a picture of life in Glasgow in the 1960s – and get an idea of the changes taking place. At the time, obesity was unusual enough to draw attention. Yet now more than a third of Scottish 12- year-olds are overweight, a fifth are obese and over one in ten severely obese. The statistics for adults are even worse, with almost two-thirds of men and more than half of women overweight. The situation is better in the other OECD countries, apart from the United States, but obesity is a concern almost everywhere, in the OECD area and beyond.

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