Chapter 13: A Policy Framework for Confronting Obesity
Zoltan J. Acs, Lenneal J. Henderson, David T. Levy, Alan Lyles and Kenneth R. Stanton INTRODUCTION In this book the issues of obesity have been considered by critically examining the choices and status of three broad groups: the individual, business and the government. Chapters describe and examine the health, consumer, tax, marketing, cultural, ethical and institutional dimensions of the obesity challenge in the USA. As a health policy challenge obesity aﬀects all levels of society. Consumers are asked to rethink what ‘quality’ means in food choices. A raging debate about the impact of marketing on consumer health escalates. Consumers are psychologically and culturally caught between media images of ‘thin is good’ but ‘food is good’! Obesity treatment and prevention continues to be challenged by clear cultural diﬀerences in America. And every American institution, whether public or corporate, faith or educational, cultural or professional, is either promoting or responding to shrill ethical messages about the outrage of increasing obesity among Americans of all ages, races and regions of the nation. What American consumers buy, what we allow and disallow in the marketplace and what health costs, as well as its opportunity costs, place consumer policy in the core strategic complex of policy issues. As both a cause and consequence of consumer behavior, marketing can and does play a key role in structuring consumer consciousness and preferences. From healthconscious television, radio, Internet and print-level food and drug advertisements to dedicated weight control campaigns and promotions, marketing is an essential policy...
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