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Obesity EpidemiologyFrom Aetiology to Public Health$
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David Crawford, Robert W. Jeffery, Kylie Ball, and Johannes Brug

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571512.001.0001

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Can fiscal approaches help to reduce obesity risk?

Can fiscal approaches help to reduce obesity risk?

Chapter:
(p.368) Chapter 21 Can fiscal approaches help to reduce obesity risk?
Source:
Obesity Epidemiology
Author(s):

Eric A. Finkelstein

Thomas J. Hoerger

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571512.003.0021

One approach for reversing the obesity epidemic is to use economic strategies to change the costs and benefits of behaviours related to obesity in an effort to change positively the energy-balance equation. To date, these strategies have taken the following forms: (i) monetary incentives for weight loss or activities that promote weight loss, (ii) increased insurance premiums for people who are obese, and (iii) ‘fat’ taxes on unhealthy foods in efforts to reduce their consumption. This chapter discusses the economic rationale for each approach and assesses the evidence of effectiveness in both the short and the long run. It concludes with a discussion of future areas of research on the role of economic incentives or disincentives for encouraging sustained weight loss.

Keywords:   obesity control, obesity prevention, economic incentives, weight loss, fat taxes, unhealthy foods

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