Application of Law to the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Authors

  • Jess Alderman,

    1. Senior Staff Attorney at the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston, MA. She is also the Co-Director of the Public Health Legal Clinic at the law school and an Adjunct Professor in the Law, Policy, and Society program at Northeastern;
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  • Jason A. Smith,

    1. Associate Executive Director of PHAI and an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University School of Law
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  • Ellen J. Fried,

    1. Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at New York University
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  • Richard A. Daynard

    1. President of PHAI and a Professor at Northeastern University School of Law and in the Law, Policy, and Society program at Northeastern.
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Abstract

Childhood obesity is in important respects a result of legal policies that influence both dietary intake and physical activity. The law must shift focus away from individual risk factors alone and seek instead to promote situational and environmental influences that create an atmosphere conducive to health. To attain this goal, advocates should embrace a population-wide model of public health, and policymakers must critically examine the fashionable rhetoric of consumer choice.

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