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Obesity, Business and Public Policy

Edited by Zoltán J. Ács, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science and University Professor, School of Policy, Government and International Affairs, George Mason University, US and Alan Lyles, Henry A. Rosenberg Professor of Public, Private and Non Profit Partnerships, Yale Gordon College of Liberal Arts, University of Baltimore, US
The effects of obesity have become practically ubiquitous in the US. This book aims to provide an alternative framework through which to explore the important and controversial obesity debate that has spilled over from the medical community. This book is not about obesity as a medical condition, nor does it offer a wide-ranging discussion on the health effects of obesity or the role of the ‘right’ diet.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: £85.00 Web: £76.50
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 978 1 84542 500 5
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: £36.00 Web: £28.80
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 978 1 84980 143 0
Availability: In Stock
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  • Business and Management
  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Public Management
  • Economics and Finance
  • Behavioural and Experimental Economics
  • Welfare Economics
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Administration and Management
  • Public Policy
The effects of obesity have become practically ubiquitous in the US. This book aims to provide an alternative framework through which to explore the important and controversial obesity debate that has spilled over from the medical community. This book is not about obesity as a medical condition, nor does it offer a wide-ranging discussion on the health effects of obesity or the role of the ‘right’ diet.

To this end, the contributors present a multidisciplinary portrait of this complex problem. They explore the rising trend in obesity of the US in terms of its significant economic and social consequences. The web of underlying causes of the ‘infrastructure of obesity’, they explain, lies with public policy decisions, economic factors and profit opportunities as well as the more obvious nutrition and health choices of individuals. Prevention and treatment of this now global pandemic are then tackled from the perspectives of businesses, governments, society and the individual. The taxation, marketing, cultural, ethical and institutional dimensions of obesity are also addressed.

Obesity, Business and Public Policy is unique in its broad social science approach, exploring the obesity epidemic from economic, business, legal, social and public policy perspectives. As such, this truly multidisciplinary study will make fascinating reading for academics and professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds including: business, economics, public and social policy, medicine and nutrition.
‘This collection of essays provides a thorough overview of the complex issue of obesity. . . The book provides an excellent overview of the obesity problem in the US, and does an excellent job of suggesting potential solutions, along with the difficulties we will likely encounter when trying to implement these solutions. It is written for the lay person and is an enjoyable read.’
– Inas Rashad, Eastern Economic Journal

‘The book brings together an impressive group of contributors, and the table of contents covers a range of issues from a discussion of culture, obesity and institutions, to discussions of obesity and the individual, and then sections on obesity and business, and obesity and government.’
– Linda Botterill, Australian Journal of Political Science

‘As numerous major American cities propose and implement bans on trans fats in prepared foods, a book examining the causes, consequences, and solutions to the rising incidence of obesity could not be timelier. This work provides important insights into the economic and policy issues associated with obesity. Recognizing the complex interrelationships between medical and economic aspects of both causes and treatments, and the conflicts between personal and public policy considerations, the editors offer a richly comprehensive approach. . . . Although this volume focuses on the causes of, and responses to, obesity in the US, its general discussion and framework provide a useful introduction to analyzing obesity internationally. Highly recommended.’
– E. Magenheim, Choice
Contributors: Z.J. Acs, J.F. Anderson, D.B. Audretsch, J. Cawley, A. Cotten, D. DiOrio, J.A. Elston, S.J. Gould, L.J. Henderson, The Honorable M. Huckabee, D.T. Levy, A. Lyles, M. Oblak, K.R. Stanton, F. Sussan, P.E. Wilde
Contents:

Foreword
Former Governor Michael Huckabee

Preface

1. Introduction
Zoltan J. Acs and Alan Lyles

PART I: CULTURE, OBESITY AND INSTITUTIONS
2. The Spread of Obesity
David B. Audretsch and Dawne DiOrio

PART II: OBESITY AND THE INDIVIDUAL
3. The Economics of Childhood Obesity Policy
John Cawley

4. Obesity, Poverty and Diversity: Theoretical and Strategic Challenges
Lenneal J. Henderson

5. The Labor Market Impact of Obesity
John Cawley

PART III: OBESITY AND BUSINESS
6. Mixed Messages in Marketing Communications about Food and Obesity
Stephen J. Gould and Fiona Sussan

7. Weight Control, Private Health Insurance and Public Policies
Alan Lyles and Ann Cotten

PART IV: OBESITY AND GOVERNMENT
8. The Infrastructure of Obesity
Zoltan J. Acs, Ann Cotten and Kenneth R. Stanton

9. Federal Communication about Obesity in the Dietary Guidelines and Checkoff Programs
Parke E. Wilde

10. Tax Solutions to the External Costs of Obesity
Julie Ann Elston, Kenneth R. Stanton, David T. Levy and Zoltan J. Acs

PART V: LESSONS FROM THE PAST
11. Tobacco Control as a Model for Trimming the Obesity Problem
David T. Levy and Marilyn Oblak

12. Perspectives on the Economic and Cultural Effects of Obesity Litigation: Lessons from Pelman v McDonald’s
José Felipé Anderson

PART VI: POLICY CONCLUSIONS
13. A Policy Framework for Confronting Obesity
Zoltan J. Acs, Lenneal J. Henderson, David T. Levy, Alan Lyles and Kenneth R. Stanton

Index