Obesity is a major health concern for OECD countries. Using a wide range of individual-level and population data from OECD countries, this book presents analyses of trends in obesity, explores the complex causal factors affecting the epidemic and develops an assessment of the impacts interventions to combat the problem. The book provides new information on what prevention strategies are most effective and cost-effective, discussing the respective roles of individuals, social groups, industry and government, and the implications of these findings for the development of policies to address one of the largest public health emergencies of our time.
The book presents an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases, which recognises the importance of human goals that are potentially in competition with the pursuit of good health and the social and material constraints which influence individual choice and behaviours. An economic approach aims at identifying possible factors, technically market failures, which limit opportunities for people to make healthy lifestyle choices, and devising suitable strategies to overcome such failures.