Other Food Policies as Obesity Policy

  • Julian M. Alston
  • Abigail M. Okrent
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy book series (AEFP)


Other food policies have also been implicated in the obesity epidemic. Our findings are generally negative regarding both the contributions of USDA’s food and nutrition programs (FANPs) to obesity and the potential for modifying them effectively and economically to reduce obesity. Some say strengthening the role of the US government in regulation of food labeling (the nutrition facts panel, other requirements for specific types of labels on the front or back of packages, and calorie postings at restaurants) and marketing to children will help fight obesity. Changes to current food labeling practices that are underway in the United States have potential to help some consumers to make more healthful food choices, but it is left to the food industry to self-regulate food marketing to children, and changes here have been largely ineffective. “Nudges” have been shown to complement the effectiveness of some existing policies.


SNAP Food stamps Food labels Calorie postings Television advertising Nudges 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian M. Alston
    • 1
  • Abigail M. Okrent
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Resource EconomicsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Food Economics DivisionUnited States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research ServiceWashingtonUSA

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