Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 37 (s1):7-8 (2009)
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Abstract

Acommon theme throughout the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century is the importance of law. From the seminal successes in immunizations and motor vehicle safety to the recognition and control of tobacco as a health hazard, laws have been invaluable. More recently in this century, laws have been fundamental in public health preparedness to address environmental disasters and terrorist threats. In fact, the first National Summit on Legal Preparedness in 2007 focused on these “urgent threats.” It only seemed natural that the second summit would focus on the “urgent realities” posed by the continuing epidemic of obesity — an epidemic that directly attacks our children’s health and drains our nation’s wealth.Recognized worldwide as an energy imbalance resulting from excess caloric intake and reduced energy expenditure, obesity contributes to diabetes, heart disease, other multiple chronic diseases, impaired quality of life, and premature mortality.

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