Study finds deregulation fueling obesity epidemic

Feb. 2, 2014, Reuters

Governments could slow or even reverse the growing obesity epidemic if they introduced more regulation into the global market for fast foods such as burgers, chips, and fizzy drinks, researchers said on Feb 3.

A study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that if governments took firmer action, they could start to prevent people becoming overweight and obese — conditions with serious long-term consequences such as diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.

“Unless governments take steps to regulate their economies, the invisible hand of the market will continue to promote obesity worldwide with disastrous consequences for future public health and economic productivity,” said Roberto De Vogli of the University of California, Davis, who led the study.

The WHO is urging governments to do more to try to prevent obesity happening in the first place, rather than risking the high human and economic costs when it does. Continue reading

Webinar discusses how local governments can reduce food marketing to kids

Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is hosting a webinar “Marketing Matters: How Local Governments Can Address Food Marketing to Children” on Thursday, July 25, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

The webinar will provide an overview of the role local governments can play to effectively reduce the marketing of unhealthful foods and beverages to children. Research shows a strong connection between marketing practices that target youth and an increase in the consumption of junk food that contributes to childhood obesity. Moving beyond industry self-regulation, several local governments have adopted innovative strategies to minimize the prevalence of unhealthy food and food marketing. Presenters will share examples of successful policy options to promote the marketing of healthier food and beverage options. Continue reading