Inter­na­tional scholars, policy experts on obe­sity to estab­lish rec­om­men­da­tions for next Pres­i­dent to deal with nation’s No. 1 health issue

Public health offi­cials, scholars, and legal experts from the United States and Europe will join together at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity on Sep­tember 19–21 to hammer out rec­om­men­da­tions for the nation’s first com­pre­hen­sive national anti-​​obesity pro­gram as part of the 5th Annual Con­fer­ence on Public Health, Law and Obesity.

Some 25 of the leading experts will par­tic­i­pate in the three-​​day event orga­nized and hosted by the Public Health Advo­cacy Insti­tute (PHAI) of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity School of Law.

The con­fer­ence – “A Time for Action: An Obe­sity Agenda for the Next Admin­is­tra­tion” – will address a series of broad issues designed to reverse an epi­demic deemed to be the number one public health issue facing the nation.

Simply relying on indi­vidual approaches to the problem such as encour­aging exer­cise and weight loss is not nearly enough and does little to address the costs of the obe­sity crisis in terms of lives, pro­duc­tivity, and med­ical expenses,” said Richard Day­nard, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity law pro­fessor and PHAI pres­i­dent. “A coherent national policy must be established.”

Day­nard said research shows that 49 states have adult obe­sity rates run­ning over 20%, not one single state has wit­nessed a decline in obe­sity, and 23 mil­lion chil­dren are now over­weight or obese.

According to a report from the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol, more than one-​​third of Amer­ican chil­dren born in the year 2000 will develop dia­betes if cur­rent trends continue.

Among the issues to be addressed at the conference:

• Eco­nomic and social aspects of dietary behavior

• Farm bill and its impli­ca­tions for food reform

• Sig­nif­i­cance of dis­parity issues

• Food mar­keting and poten­tial reg­u­la­tory strategies

• Menu labeling

• Reg­u­la­tory solu­tions to increase phys­ical activity

• Allo­cating policy focus between child­hood and adult obesity

The results of the con­fer­ence dis­cus­sions will be dis­sem­i­nated in a report to the tran­si­tion team of the next admin­is­tra­tion in hopes that America’s 44th Pres­i­dent will pro­vide lead­er­ship in dealing with the obe­sity crisis, Day­nard said.

The con­fer­ence pro­gram and reg­is­tra­tion infor­ma­tion is avail­able at http://​www​.phaion​line​.org.

About the Public Health Advo­cacy Institute

The Public Health Advo­cacy Insti­tute (PHAI) at North­eastern University’s School of Law is a legal research center focused on public health law. PHAI’s goal is to sup­port and enhance a com­mit­ment to public health in indi­vid­uals and insti­tutes who shape public policy through law. PHAI is com­mitted to research in public health law, public health policy devel­op­ment; to legal tech­nical assis­tance; and to col­lab­o­ra­tive work at the inter­sec­tion of law and public health.

About North­eastern

Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit http://​www​.north​eastern​.edu.