CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Obesity in America & its Impact on Minorities, Women and Low-Income Groups

Publication Date

1-2006

Publication Title

The International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities & Nations

ISSN

1447-9532

Volume

6

Issue/No.

3

First Page

97

Last Page

101

Abstract

Obesity is reported to be the leading contributor to premature deaths in America, outstripping tobacco, alcohol and accidents at 300,000 deaths per year. The disease of obesity disproportionately impacts subpopulations of African-Americans/Hispanics, people of lower socioeconomic status and women. Obesity causes over $117 billion dollars in healthcare expenses, averaging about $420 per person per year. The analysis examines four policy alternatives: (1) the status quo policy; (2) Levying output taxes on fast food items in fast food restaurants; (3) Requiring chain restaurants to publicly provide nutrition content information; and (4) Developing obesity prevention campaigns for low-income, minority Americans. The policy alternatives are evaluated in terms of their meeting the goals of efficiency, social liberty, equity and societal health.

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