- Open Access
Tackling obesity requires efficient government policies
© Cecchini and Sassi; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
- Received: 9 January 2012
- Accepted: 18 April 2012
- Published: 18 April 2012
Changes in food supply and eating habits, combined with a dramatic fall in physical activity, have made obesity a global epidemic. Across OECD countries, one in two adults is currently overweight and one in six is obese. Children have not been spared, with up to one in three currently overweight. Obese people are more likely to develop diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and have a shorter life expectancy than people of normal weight. A prevention strategy combining health promotion campaigns, government regulation, counseling of individuals at risk in primary care, and paying special attention to the most vulnerable, would enhance population health at an affordable cost, with likely beneficial effects on health inequalities. Failure to implement such a strategy would impose heavy burdens on future generations. The new IJHPR paper by Ginsberg and Rosenberg illustrates how particular countries can assess alternative strategies for tackling obesity in a rigorous fashion.
This is a commentary on http://www.ijhpr.org/content/1/1/17/
- Affordable Cost
- Health Promotion Campaign
- Comprehensive Prevention
- Public Health Physician
Franco Sassi, PhD, is a Senior Health Economist at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), based in Paris. Formerly a senior lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science, he held visiting positions in a number of leading North American universities. He has published extensively on the economics of public health and health care interventions, and he leads the OECD Economics of Prevention program.
Michele Cecchini, MD MSc, is a Health Policy Analyst at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), based in Paris. A public health physician by training, he is part of the OECD Economics of Prevention team and has played a major role in the analysis of policies to tackle obesity based on the OECD/WHO Chronic Disease Prevention (CDP) microsimulation model.
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