A series of six articles published online February 18, 2015, by The Lancet reportedly “examines false dichotomies and proposes a reframing of obesity as a consequence of the ‘reciprocal nature of the interaction between the environment and the individual,’ where feedback loops perpetuate food choices and behaviors.”

“Our understanding of obesity must be completely reframed if we are to halt and reverse the global obesity epidemic,” Christina Roberts, who co-authored the first article in the series with Kelly Brownell and others, was quoted as saying.“On one hand, we need to acknowledge that individuals bear some responsibility for their health, and on the other hand recognize that today’s food environments exploit people’s biological, psychological, and social and economic vulnerabilities, making it easier for them to eat unhealthy foods.”

Among other things, the series’ fourth article, “Child and adolescent obesity: part of a bigger picture,” asserts that the “food industry has a special interest in targeting children. Not only can the companies influence children’s immediate dietary preferences, but they also benefit from building taste preferences and brand loyalty early in life, which last into adulthood. Furthermore, the food and beverage industries as a whole have a financial investment in creating overweight.”

Actions championed by the series’ authors include developing an International Code of Marketing to Children and initiating a “cohesive multi-stakeholder approach to the creation of public demand for policy actions to prevent obesity” similar to such campaigns addressing tobacco use. See The Lancet Press Release, February 18, 2015.

About The Author

For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.