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Milbank Q. 2009 Mar;87(1):295-316. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00556.x.

The politics of obesity: a current assessment and look ahead.

Author information

1
NYU Wagner School, New York University, 295 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012, USA. rk79@nyu.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The continuing rise in obesity rates across the United States has proved impervious to clinical treatment or public health exhortation, necessitating policy responses. Nearly a decade's worth of political debates may be hardening into an obesity issue regime, comprising established sets of cognitive frames, stakeholders, and policy options.

METHODS:

This article is a survey of reports on recently published studies.

FINDINGS:

Much of the political discussion regarding obesity is centered on two "frames," personal-responsibility and environmental, yielding very different sets of policy responses. While policy efforts at the federal level have resulted in little action to date, state and/or local solutions such as calorie menu labeling and the expansion of regulations to reduce unhealthy foods at school may have more impact.

CONCLUSIONS:

Obesity politics is evolving toward a relatively stable state of equilibrium, which could make comprehensive reforms to limit rising obesity rates less feasible. Therefore, to achieve meaningful change, rapid-response research identifying a set of promising reforms, combined with concerted lobbying action, will be necessary.

PMID:
19298424
PMCID:
PMC2879181
DOI:
10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00556.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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