Reducing Obesity: Policy Strategies from the Tobacco Wars

Reducing Obesity: Policy Strategies from the Tobacco Wars

To combat the epidemic of obesity, lawmakers can adapt policy approaches that have substantially cut tobacco use. A 10 percent tax on fattening food, identified based on a model used by the British government to determine the foods that may not be advertised to children, would reduce consumption while raising more than $500 billion over 10 years. Adding simple, "traffic light" nutrition labels to the front of each food package would change consumers' buying habits, as would listing calories on menus at chain restaurants. Consumption of fattening food would be further reduced by banning its advertisement in the mass media.

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