New Frontiers in Obesity Control: Innovative Public Health Legal Interventions
Duke Forum for Law & Social Change Vol. 5, 1-37 (2013)
37 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2014
Date Written: February 22, 2013
Obesity is the epitome of a global pandemic. Like cancer, obesity is prevalent among all populations. Like influenza, it respects no borders. Like HIV/AIDS, it is readily diagnosed and stigmatizing. Like West Nile Virus, it impacts individuals across all socioeconomic groups. Like heart disease, it is a chronic, disabling condition with well-known risk factors. And like its notable companion condition, type 2 diabetes, obesity contributes significantly to societal morbidity and mortality. The product of manifold causes, obesity is a global killer. It strikes the young and old. It kills gradually over time or suddenly. It significantly reduces life expectancy across populations. It directly lowers persons’ quality of life and productivity. Obesity is a pandemic of the masses. Its spread is slow and evolving. Like tobacco-related diseases, however, obesity is largely preventable in most cases, especially in industrialized countries with adequate resources, such as the United States.
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