• Open Access

The role of policy in improving diets: experiences from the Pacific Obesity Prevention in Communities food policy project

Authors


Dr AM Thow, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Victor Coppleson Building (D02), The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. E-mail: annemarie.thow@sydney.edu.au

Summary

There is global interest in using multisectoral policy approaches to improve diets, and reduce obesity and non-communicable disease. However, there has been ad hoc implementation, which in some sectors such as the economic sector has been very limited, because of the lack of quality evidence on potential costs and impacts, and the inherent challenges associated with cross-sectoral policy development and implementation. The Pacific Obesity Prevention in Communities food policy project aimed to inform relevant policy development and implementation in Pacific Island countries. The project developed an innovative participatory approach to identifying and assessing potential policy options in terms of their effectiveness and feasibility. It also used policy analysis methodology to assess three policy initiatives to reduce fatty meat availability and four soft drink taxes in the region, in order to identify strategies for supporting effective policy implementation.

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