Ending Childhood Obesity


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: December 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78811 401 1 Extent: c 416 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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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
‘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 include: W. Barth Eide, O. Bartlett, S. Byrne, O.A. Cabrera, J. Curtis, O. De Schutter, A. Eide, N. Foster, M. Friant-Perrot, A. Garde, N. Gokani, M. Hartlev, C. MacMaoláin, G. Messenger, K. Ó Cathaoir, S.A. Roache, M. Sattorova

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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eISBN: 978 1 78811 402 8
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