November 24th, 2008
NEW FEDERAL APPROACHES TO OBESITY EPIDEMIC NEEDED:
Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law Provides Obama Transition Team with Legal and Policy Recommendations
BOSTON (Nov. 24– President-elect Barak Obama’s Health and Human Services Transition Team today was presented with a series of nearly 50 legal and policy recommendations designed to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic.
The document, developed by the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University’s School of Law, was sent to the Transition Team by Richard Daynard, a professor at the law school and president of PHAI.
“Public health, unlike some other national assets, cannot be ‘rescued’or ‘bailed out,'” Dayard wrote in a cover letter. “A sophisticated and aggressive federal approach to obesity is desperately needed.
“Such an approach could save countless lives and reduce the devastating consequences of this epidemic while meaningfully connecting with healthcare, agriculture and energy policies,” said Mark Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Institute.
“A failure of federal obesity policy would have untenable public health andeconomic consequences.”
The report from PHAI, a non-profit law and policy research organization, was based on recommendations developed by a group of leading national and international experts at a conference at Northeastern on stopping the obesity epidemic earlier this fall.
The conference, co-sponsored by Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) of Oakland, CA, brought together legal scholars, health policy advocates, and government officials.
The recommendations (www.phaionline.org) include such areas as the economic and social aspects of dietary behavior, ensuring equal access to healthy food and physical activities, food marketing regulations, and menu labeling laws.