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Ending Childhood Obesity
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Ending Childhood Obesity

A Challenge at the Crossroads of International Economic and Human Rights Law

9781788114011 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Amandine Garde, Professor of Law, Joshua Curtis, Lecturer in Law, University of Liverpool, UK and Olivier De Schutter, Professor of Law, Centre for Philosophy of the Law, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78811 401 1 Extent: 400 pp
Childhood obesity is one of the most pressing global public health challenges of the 21st century. In response, States need to employ a multisectoral approach including labelling rules, food marketing restrictions and fiscal policies. However, these legal measures interact in a complex fashion with international economic and human rights law raising a range of legal questions. This timely book edited by Garde, Curtis and De Schutter explores these questions offering insightful perspectives. Of fundamental interest to legal professionals and academics, Ending Childhood Obesity also makes the legal complexities accessible to a broad range of public health and other policy actors addressing obesity and related non-communicable diseases.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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This edited book is the first to reflect on childhood obesity as a global legal challenge. It calls for a thorough commitment to human rights in the face of an ascendant global agri-food industry. The book makes an original contribution to the discussion on obesity as it considers both international economic law and human rights law perspectives on the issue whilst also examining the relationship between these two bodies of international law.

After highlighting the importance of a human rights-based approach to obesity prevention, this book discusses the relevance of international economic law to the promotion of healthier food environments. It then examines the potential of international human rights law for more effective regulation of the food industry, arguing for better coordination between UN actors and more systematic reliance on human rights tools, including: the best interests of the child principle, human rights due diligence processes, and the imposition of extraterritorial obligations. The concluding chapter reflects on recurring themes and the added value of a WHO Framework Convention on Obesity Prevention.

This book will be of interest to public health scholars, particularly those working on obesity and non-communicable diseases, and those with a broader interest in children’s rights, human rights, international trade, investment, consumer or food law and policy. It will also be relevant to policy actors working to improve nutrition and public health globally.
Critical Acclaim
‘Childhood obesity, and the associated rise in diseases and premature deaths, and its negative impact on sustainable development, is one of the most crucial problems of our times. It is also a complex multifactorial problem requiring a multisectoral response. This response includes the regulation of food marketing and the use of economic instruments such as food taxes and subsidies. In this exciting volume, Amandine Garde, Joshua Curtis and Olivier De Schutter, bring together leading thinkers to explore the legal challenges and opportunities involved in the effort to end childhood obesity. In particular, they investigate the interaction between international human rights and economic law in the protection of children and the prevention of childhood obesity. The book provides an array of practical tools that can be used to develop and implement obesity prevention strategies and is a must-read for those involved in this area.’
– Andrew D Mitchell, Monash University, Australia

‘Ending Childhood Obesity, edited by Amandine Garde, Joshua Curtis and Olivier de Schutter, gathers the writings of a distinguished group of scholars and experts from different perspectives on global health law, international human rights law and international economic law. The breadth and depth of these diverse chapters together add a new dimension and make a critical contribution to the burgeoning literature on regulatory measures that states can and should take to combat childhood obesity. Ending Childhood Obesity is essential reading for scholars and policymakers working to prevent childhood obesity and, more broadly, NCDS.’
– Allyn L. Taylor, University of Washington, US

‘Childhood obesity is a hugely serious human rights problem. The contributions to this volume engage in a thoughtful and thought-provoking way with the topic. In doing so, they focus on the potential – and limitations – of law as part of a multisectoral, multi-level human rights-based response to childhood obesity as a human, health social, economic, ecological, development and legal challenge. The contributions address key sub-disciplines of law, particularly international economic law to international human rights law, in order to demonstrate their respective relevance with regard to efforts to address childhood obesity .’
– Aoife Nolan, University of Nottingham, UK

‘To my fellow economists, this book will provide a stimulating approach to childhood obesity policies. The key underlying idea – a brilliant one – is to reconsider these policies in the light of the legal corpus governing children's protection and their right to health. The book then mixes conceptual analyses and case studies to propose a precise and pragmatic vision of the legal issues raised by the regulation of food markets, in particular the compatibility of national policies with international trade rules. A must-read for anyone interested in why and how the latest economic analyses play a crucial role in contemporary debates on the legitimacy and legal feasibility of public health policies!’
– Fabrice Etilé, Paris School of Economics and INRAE, France

‘This book is a unique and new contribution to the now extensive policy-related work on ending childhood obesity. The authors take a human rights approach to this very pressing and important problem arguing persuasively that the law can and should be mobilised against it. The major targets for such intervention are food and other multinational corporations, whose practices come under close scrutiny. This volume is an essential read and resource for policy makers involved in health matters and for all who are involved in childhood obesity intervention.’
– Stanley Ulijaszek, University of Oxford, UK

‘Ending Childhood Obesity is an authoritative source that advances the case for a greater role of law in tackling the root causes of obesity as a public health emergency within the current global food environment. It is a must read for all those who are engaged – be they public health professionals, policymakers or health advocates - in combating NCDs both locally and globally.’
– Alberto Alemanno, HEC Paris, France
Contributors
Contributors: O. Bartlett, S. Byrne, O.A. Cabrera, J. Curtis, O. De Schutter, A. Eide, W.B. Eide, N. Foster, M. Friant-Perrot, A. Garde, N. Gokani, M. Hartlev, C. MacMaoláin, G. Messenger, K.Ó. Cathaoir, S.A. Roache, M. Sattorova
Contents
Contents:

1 Ending childhood obesity: Introducing the issues and the
legal challenge 1
Amandine Garde, Joshua Curtis and Olivier De Schutter

PART I HUMAN RIGHTS APPROACH TO
CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION
2 International human rights and childhood obesity prevention 30
Sarah A Roache and Oscar A Cabrera
3 The child’s right to health as a tool to end childhood obesity 57
Katharina Ó Cathaoir and Mette Hartlev
4 Human rights, childhood obesity and health inequalities 86
Marine Friant-Perrot and Nikhil Gokani

PART II UTILISING THE SPACE AVAILABLE
FOR REGULATORY MEASURES UNDER
INTERNATONAL ECONOMIC LAW
5 Sugar as commodity or health risk: The unmaking or
remaking of international trade law? 112
Gregory Messenger
6 Using food labelling laws to combat childhood obesity:
Lessons from the EU, the WTO and Codex 138
Caoimhín MacMaoláin
7 Investment protection agreements, regulatory chill, and
national measures on childhood obesity prevention 161
Mavluda Sattorova
8 International trade and childhood obesity: A Caribbean
perspective 185
Nicole Foster

PART III ADDITIONAL TOOLS AVAILABLE UNDER
HUMAN RIGHTS LAW
9 Can the United Nations system be mobilized to promote
human rights-based approaches in preventing and ending
childhood obesity? 219
Asbjørn Eide and Wenche Barth Eide
10 Combatting obesogenic commercial practices through the
implementation of the best interests of the child principle 251
Amandine Garde and Seamus Byrne
11 Multinational food corporations and the right to health:
Achieving accountability through mandatory human rights
due diligence? 282
Oliver Bartlett
12 Bridging governance gaps with extraterritorial human
rights obligations: Accessing home State courts to end
childhood obesity 309
Joshua Curtis
13 Overcoming the legal challenge to end childhood obesity:
Pathways towards positive harmonization in law and governance 339
Joshua Curtis and Amandine Garde

Index 370

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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