Obese Policy: Tackling Child Obesity in Alberta

20 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2013

Date Written: December 9, 2011

Abstract

Obesity rates have reached epidemic proportions around the globe and especially Canada. Obesity carries the risk of obtaining many other chronic diseases, such as cancer and type 2 diabetes. As a result, obesity carries a great economic burden in Canada as well as its provinces such as Alberta. This policy paper aims to determine the best possible option for addressing rising child obesity rates in Alberta. This paper determined that a successful policy program would: (1) address determinants of obesity (e.g. physical activity and sedentary behaviors), (2) be easily surveyed, (3) minimize stigmatization, (4) tailor to the needs of Aboriginals, (4) involve multi-stakeholders, (5) have a good cost-benefit ratio. Although complex to implement, community-based interventions seem most likely to decrease obesity rates because it is comprehensive enough to address all five criteria. Community-based interventions have the capacity to alter physical and social environments, thus decreasing factors contributing to overweight and obesity. Policy action involves two focal points: the school and community centers. These two focal points have the greatest potential to promote community and stakeholder involvement in health promotion and prevention. Policy evaluation stresses comparison between communities in order to initiate an open dialogue of what initiatives are most cost efficient and beneficial.

Keywords: Health policy, Alberta, Canada, Obesity, Overweight, Adolescent, Adolescents, Children, Policy, Evaluation

JEL Classification: I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Ciechanowski, Peter, Obese Policy: Tackling Child Obesity in Alberta (December 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311813 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2311813

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