Childhood Obesity: Ethical and Policy Issues

Hardcover | March 19, 2014

byKristin Voigt, Stuart G. Nicholls, Garrath Williams

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Childhood obesity has become a central concern in many countries and a range of policies have been proposed or implemented to address it. This co-authored book is the first to focus on the complex set of ethical and policy issues that childhood obesity raises.Throughout the book, authors Kristin Voigt, Stuart G. Nicholls, and Garrath Williams emphasize the need to take a thorough and balanced look at the intricacies of the ethical and political questions surrounding childhood obesity before advocating particular solutions. After first addressing the factual controversies about childhood obesity, the authors explore crucial ethical questions. What priority should be given to preventing obesity? To what extent are parents responsible? What can be done prevent the social stigma attached to obese children? Moving on fromthese discussions, in the second part of their book the authors consider key policy topics, such as the concept of the "obesogenic environment," debates about taxation and marketing, and the role that schools can play in obesity prevention. Although many people are aware of the increasing rates of childhood obesity and the dangerous health implications of these upward trends, there has not yet been a political debate on the topic. The authors argue that such a debate will be crucial to deciding what priority to give to the fightagainst childhood obesity and dividing responsibilities for action. There is reason for hope: opportunities for action abound and many of these promise wider social benefits beyond obesity prevention itself."This book provides a welcome re-appraisal of commonly-held beliefs about child obesity and misconceptions about what needs to be done. The authors expose the futility of holding parents responsible for children's unhealthy behaviour, they challenge the assumption that education and family supportwill solve the problem, and they condemn the prejudice and stigma which surround the narrative of blame. The book shows convincingly how the causes of obesity - and the range of associated diseases - lie in the fabric of the modern market economy: in the food supply which shapes our diets, thesocial and physical environment which encourages sedentary behaviour, and in the media which promote ever greater consumption. Obesity is not the problem: it is the symptom of a more complex social and economic malaise encouraging poor health. The case for interventions by governments to promotehealth and wellbeing above crude economic growth is comprehensively proven."-- Dr. Tim Lobstein, Director of Policy and Programmes, The International Association for the Study of Obesity and The International Obesity Task Force

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Childhood obesity has become a central concern in many countries and a range of policies have been proposed or implemented to address it. This co-authored book is the first to focus on the complex set of ethical and policy issues that childhood obesity raises.Throughout the book, authors Kristin Voigt, Stuart G. Nicholls, and Garrath W...

Kristin Voigt is an Assistant Professor at McGill University, jointly appointed in the Department of Philosophy and the Institute for Health and Social Policy. Her research focuses on egalitarian theories of distributive justice and the links between philosophy and social policy. Stuart Nicholls is a Canadian Institutes of Health Resea...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199964483

ISBN - 13:9780199964482

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I1. Empirical Uncertainty: Some Difficulties in Placing Obesity Centerstage2. Normative Uncertainty: What Do We Want From Policies to Address Childhood Obesity3. Childhood Obesity and Parental Responsibility4. Childhood Obesity Interventions, Equity and Social Justice5. Stigma and Weight Bias: Implications for Childhood Obesity InterventionsPart II6. Childhood Obesity and the 'Obesogenic Environment'7. Price Policies as Strategies for Obesity Prevention8. Responding to Food Marketing Targeted at Children: Regulation, Social Marketing and Media Literacy9. Schools and Childhood ObesityConclusion: Childhood Obesity: Some Practical ImplicationsReferences