Health Policy

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Health Policy

Health Policy


Obesity is a rising concern in the United States, and majority of the population is overweight or on the verge of becoming obese. The U.S government has taken obesity as a threat to the entire population and formed a health policy focused on obesity. Many legislative initiatives have been launched in order to reduce the epidemic of obesity. The aim of the government is to enable community prevention of obesity. A government program or combination of programs not only created the industry sector, but also continues to impose structure through regulation and to serve as an indispensable source of ongoing funding. The need for a policy addressing obesity was highly necessary as obesity is prevalent in almost every home in the United States. Initiatives to improve nutrition and physical activity have been brought about in order to create awareness.


The obesity epidemic is not only impairing the health of millions of Americans but also giving rise to billions of added dollars in health care spending. Climbing rates of obesity over the past decades are one of the predominant determinants behind the surging progression of health care expenses in the United States. Since the early 1970s, adult obesity rates have doubled and childhood obesity rates have more than tripled, while health expenditures have risen two percentage points faster than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), burgeoning from 8.8 percent in 1980 to a projected 17.9 percent in 2011(Stoddart, 2009).Studies analyze that greater than a quarter of America's health care expenses are attributed to obesity. The stunning growth in obesity has been imputed for 20 to 30 percent of the increase in health care costs since the late 1970s (Stoddart, 2009).

If the proportion of obese population had remained unchanged, then health care expenditures in America would be approximately 10 percent less on a per capita average than they are today. These policies presume that government intervention to reduce obesity is necessary and justified. The prevention is not just focused toward the high costs involved for health, but also for the well being of the entire population. The government is taking strict legal action, because it has the power and duty to do so. Some, however, argue that individuals have a compelling interest to pursue their own health and happiness as they see fit, and therefore any government intervention in these areas is an unwarranted intrusion into privacy and one's freedom to eat, drink, and exercise as much or as little as one prefers.

Some people are troubled enough about the consequences of others' obesity that they are willing to pay to prevent or reduce it. This willingness to pay is made clear to others through voluntary contributions to local or national private organizations dedicated to obesity prevention and reduction. Naturally, economies of scale and “free rider” problems with what is essentially a public good — educational information about the consequences of obesity on the obese — may mean that voluntary contributions are inadequate to meaningfully address the problem (Simpson, ...
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