Can Behavioral Economics Combat Obesity?
5 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2012
Date Written: July 9, 2012
The rising prevalence of obesity in the United States has led to consideration — and even adoption — of public policies intended to shape Americans’ food choices. This article examines and criticizes these paternalistic policies. It describes the growing use of behavioral economics to justify government intervention into obesity. Policies are too easy to justify under assumptions that government officials are better informed than the individuals they seek to guide. Government intervention is often ineffective in dealing with individual failures, and in some cases is counterproductive.
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