The Increasing Weight of Regulation: Countries Combat the Global Obesity Epidemic

35 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014

See all articles by Allyn L. Taylor

Allyn L. Taylor

Georgetown University Law Center

Emily Whelan Parento

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law

Laura Schmidt

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) - School of Medicine

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Obesity is a global epidemic, exacting an enormous human and economic toll. In the absence of a comprehensive global governance strategy, states have increasingly employed a wide array of legal strategies targeting the drivers of obesity. This article identifies recent global trends in obesity-related legislation and makes the normative case for an updated global governance strategy.

National governments have responded to the epidemic both by strengthening traditional interventions and by developing novel legislative strategies. This response consists of nine important trends: (1) strengthened and tailored tax measures; (2) broader use of counter-advertising and health campaigns; (3) expanded food labeling; (4) increased attention to the built environment; (5) expansion of bundled school-based strategies; (6) greater restrictions on advertising and marketing to children; (7) strengthened restrictions, standards, and bans on specific foods and food additives; (8) more targeted screening and brief interventions; and, (9) creative use of integrated programs to promote sustainable agriculture, environment and healthy food.

There remains a need to create a centralized, publicly accessible database of interventions. In addition, the scale of the obesity epidemic combined with the global trend toward more comprehensive regulation may for the first time create political space and will for an international obesity strategy.

Keywords: obesity epidemic, public health intervention, health initiatives, health policy, public health, health law

JEL Classification: K00, I1, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Taylor, Allyn L. and Parento, Emily Whelan and Schmidt, Laura, The Increasing Weight of Regulation: Countries Combat the Global Obesity Epidemic (2014). Indiana Law Journal, Vol. 90, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2422508

Allyn L. Taylor (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

Emily Whelan Parento

University of the Pacific - McGeorge School of Law ( email )

3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
United States

Laura Schmidt

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) - School of Medicine ( email )

513 Parnassus Ave
San Francisco, CA 94143
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
276
Abstract Views
1,155
rank
111,320
PlumX Metrics