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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the responsibility of changing public policy to address obesity. The understanding of obesity as an issue of personal responsibility has led to weak government action. The chapter notes that the environment is the major force underlying the obesity crisis and then addresses school food environments, food access and cost, sugared beverage consumption, food marketing, and restaurant food nutrition content and portion size. Comprehensive bans on advertising are difficult to develop, given the range of ways in which foods are advertised, such as on the Internet and through videogames. Menu labeling could promote healthier food choices when dining out. Public health policies that target the school food environment, issues of access and cost of foods, sugar beverage consumption, food marketing, restaurant food nutrition content and portion size can have far-reaching effects in curbing the obesity epidemic and in improving the world's diet and health in cost-effective ways.

Keywords: obesity, public health policies, personal responsibility, school food, food access, beverage consumption, food marketing, restaurant food nutrition, portion size, menu labeling

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