Obesity and Food Policy

Overweight and Obesity Resources

Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Overweight and Obesity web page

CDC: Defining Overweight and Obesity

Obesity at a Glance, 2011 (PDF) - An overview of the health problems caused by obesity and the ways in which obesity affects the country.

Obesity at a Glance, 2009 (PDF)

Obesity and Overweight: State-based programs - The CDC's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity program works with 23 states to address obesity and other chronic diseases.

Obesity and Overweight: Tools and Resources

The Obesity Society

The Public Health Law Center: Healthy Eating

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Overweight and Obesity Articles

 

"America's New Love: Water " Candice Choi, Associated Press, (Mar. 11, 2013)

Memo on State AG Jurisdiction and Capacity in Public Health: National State Attorneys General Program and Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University.

"Public Health: The Toxic Truth About Sugar" Robert H. Lustig, Laura A. Schmidt, and Claire D. Brindis, Nature Magazine , (Feb. 1, 2012).

Added sweeteners pose dangers to health that justify controlling them like alcohol.    Sugar consumption is linked to a rise in non-communicable disease.  Sugar's effects on the body can be similar to those of alcohol.  Regulation could include tax, limiting sales during school hours and placing age limits on purchase.

"Cereal Facts: Evaluating the Nutrition Quality and Marketing of Children’s Cereals." Jennifer L. Harris, Marlene B. Schwartz, Kelly D. Brownell, Vishnudas Sarda, Megan E. Weinberg, Sarah Speers, Jackie Thomspon, Amy Ustjanauskas, Andrew Cheyne, Eliana, Bukofzer, Lori Dorfman, Hannah Byrnes-Enoch

Cereal FACTS presents a comprehensive and independent science-based evaluation of cereal company marketing to children and adolescents in 2008 through early 2009. This study was conducted by the Yale's Rudd Center on Food Policy and Obesity.

 One of four papers that resulted from the 2008 National Summit on Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control, this paper addresses gaps in laws pertaining to healthy lifestyles, places, and societies and presents applicable laws and legal authorities that can close those gaps.
 
"A Legal Primer for the Obesity Prevention Movement." Seth E. Mermin, JD, MEd, and Samantha K. Graff, JD
 
With the goal of helping policymakers to avoid potential constitutional problems in the formulation of obesity policy, this paper outlines the legal principles most relevant to obesity policy: police power; allocation of federal power among federal, state, and local governments; freedom of speech; property rights, privacy, equal protection, and contract rights.
 
"A Crisis in the Marketplace: How Food Marketing Contributes to Childhood Obesity and What Can Be Done." Jennifer L. Harris, Jennifer L. Pomeranz, Tim Lobstein, and Kelly D. Brownell
 
This article reviews existing knowledge of the impact of marketing and addresses the value of various legal, legislative, regulatory, and industry-based approaches to changing massively expanding food marketing practices that attempt to promote unhealthy foods by targeting children.
 
 
A comparative analysis of the tobacco and food industries that finds significant similarities in the actions that these industries have taken in response to concern that their products cause harm.
 
"Obesity — The New Frontier of Public Health Law." Michelle M. Mello, J.D., Ph.D., David M. Studdert, LL.B., Sc.D., M.P.H., and Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., J.D., M.P.H.
 
A review of the rationale for regulatory action to combat obesity that examines legal issues raised by initiatives to date and comments on
the prospects for public health law in the area of obesity.
 
 
A discussion of the public health rationale the government’s legal authority for the enactment of menu-labelinglaws in restaurants, which concludes that the legislative climate surrounding menulabeling laws is currently positive and part of a larger effort to address issues of diet and obesity.
 
"The Effect of Fast-Food Restaurants on Obesity," Janet Currie, Stefano DellaVigna, Enrico Moretti, and Vikram Pathania
 
Researchers at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that 9th grade students were more likely to be obese when their schools were within a tenth of a mile of a fast food restaurant.
 
"Proximity of Fast-Food Restaurants to Schools and Adolescent Obesity," Brennan Davis, PhD, and Christopher Carpenter, PhD

An additional study demonstrating that children who lived and went to school in close proximity to fast-food restaurants more likely to consume unhealthier diets and become overweight. The researchers recommend policy changes to limit the number of fast-food restaurants near schools.

 http://www.yaleruddcenter.org

Yale University's non-profit research and public policy organization devoted to improving the world’s diet, preventing obesity, and reducing weight stigma.

 

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Obesity - AG Guidelines

In 2004, the office of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer released a report intended to raise public awareness about obesity and the ways to combat it.

Focus on: Overcoming Obesity (PDF)

 

 

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Fast food litigation

"The McLawsuit: The Fast-Food Industry and Legal Accountability for Obesity," Michelle M. Mello, Eric B. Rimm, and David M. Studdert, 2003 (PDF)
In the wake of the unsuccessful 2003 Pelman v. McDonalds case in which the plaintiffs attempted to link the fast food chain to childhood obesity, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management analyzed the legal, socioeconomic, and cultural consequences of litigating fast food restaurants for their role in the obesity epidemic. 
 
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"The Effect of Fast-Food Restaurants on Obesity," Janet Currie, Stefano DellaVigna, Enrico Moretti, and Vikram Pathania, 2009 (PDF)
Researchers at Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley, concluded that 9th grade students were more likely to be obese when their schools were within a tenth of a mile of a fast food restaurant.
 
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Based on data collected from the Columbia/Berkeley study, Councilman Eric Gioia has announced a proposal that would prohibit fast-food restaurants from opening within a tenth of a mile of New York City schools.
 
"Proximity of Fast-Food Restaurants to Schools and Adolescent Obesity," Brennan Davis, PhD, and Christopher Carpenter, PhD, 2009 (PDF)
An additional study demonstrating that children who lived and went to school in close proximity to fast-food restaurants more likely to consume unhealthier diets and become overweight. The researchers recommend policy changes to limit the number of fast-food restaurants near schools.
 

 
In 2005, California Attorney General Jerry Brown filed suit against a number of fast food corporations and other food manufacturers to reduce the level of acrylomide, a carcinogen, in french fries and potato chips. The companies settled with Brown in 2008, agreeing to reduce the level of acrylomide and provide warning labels when necessary under law.
 
 
 
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Lockyer's letter details the public health risks of acrylomide exposure and the obligations of food producers, under California's Proposition 65 (Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986), to label products containing carcinogens.

 

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