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By: James Onisk Obesity Prevention Policy Options.

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Presentation on theme: "By: James Onisk Obesity Prevention Policy Options."— Presentation transcript:

1 By: James Onisk Obesity Prevention Policy Options

2 Background 60 million Americans are considered obese¹ 43 million American Adults are considered overweight¹ Totaling 100+ million Americans who are overweight/obese, and 33% of the adult population² Currently, 45% of adults say eating at restaurants is an essential part of their lifestyle³ Restaurant foods are known to be high in fat, sodium, and sugars while providing non-nutrient dense foods

3 Background Medical costs associated with obesity are $147 billion annually 2 Third party payers paid $1,429 more, annually, for those who are obese than those who are not 2 Medical conditions associated with obesity are: Heart disease 4 Hypertension 4 Stroke 4 Cancers 4 Type 2 diabetes 4

4 Obesity Related Policy Options 1.) An excise tax of one penny per ounce on sugar sweetened beverages (sodas, artificially flavored juices, etc.) 2.) Mandatory menu labeling of calories, fat, sodium, etc. at fast-food restaurants 3.) A national ban on trans-fats

5 Major Stakeholders National Restaurant Association American Beverage Association National Grocers Association American Heart Association Center for Science in the Public Interest General Tax Payers

6 Evaluating Policy Options Each policy option will be evaluated by the following criteria: Cost- How much will implementation of these policy options save state/federal governments? How much will these policies cost tax-payers or involved parties? Political Feasibility- Do interest groups have the ability to interrupt implementation of these policies? Have policy makers supported these types of policies in the past? Public Support- Does the general public show interest and support for these policies? Effectiveness- What percent of the population will decrease in obesity as a result from the policy implementation?

7 Option 1: Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Average person consumes 10-15% of their daily total calories from sugar sweetened beverages 5 An excise tax would encourage people to consume less due to financial burden 5 Better than a sales tax because a sales tax would only encourage cheaper beverages being purchased 5

8 Option 1: Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Effectiveness- expected to reduce consumption by 13%, or two servings per week per person. 5 It is also expected to reduce caloric intake by approximately 8,000 calories a year and result in trimming 2.3 pounds of extra weight. 6 Costs/Savings- would raise at least $14.9 billion in the first year of implementation alone 7 Public Support- Some poll results show support for a beverage tax ranging from 37-72%, 5 Low income populations may disagree with the tax because they are major purchasers of sugar sweetened beverages Political Feasibility- This policy can be interrupted by threats from beverage companies and lobby groups. PepsiCo threatened to move its corporate headquarters out of New York State when a possible 18% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages was proposed 7

9 Option 2: Mandatory Menu Labeling Menu labeling makes information regarding calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium content of foods served available on menus in restaurants 8 Better choice As of 2004, only 54% of chain restaurants provided nutrition information 9 In a study looking at the knowledge of calories and fat content of restaurant foods, 73% of consumers underestimated the number of calories in light entrees by 43, while 90% of consumers underestimated less healthy entrees by an average of 642 calories 9

10 Option 2: Mandatory Menu Labeling Effectiveness- Of studies analyzed, there have been mixed results from whether menu labeling has a positive, negative, or no impact on lowering caloric and fat intake. 9 Cost- Signs= $6400 per restaurant per year; nutrient analysis= around $50,000 for all menu items Public Support- Surveys show that 62-87% of consumers support requiring restaurants to list nutrition information 8 Political Feasibility- Two bills have already been purposed to congress regarding menu labeling policies, both have been stalled, as well as California and New York City have implemented menu labeling policies. 9

11 Option 3: Banning Trans-Fats They are used in commercial food processing for an increase in flavor, saving texture, increasing shelf life, and for deep frying 10 2% of all calories consumed are from trans fats; as intake is recommended under two grams per day, most American adults eat 5.8 grams daily 10 Trans fat is more dangerous than saturated fat, having an anywhere from 2.5 to 10 times greater risk at causing cardiovascular disease- which has costs of $431.8 billion yearly 10

12 Option 3: Banning Trans-Fats Effectiveness- In one study, overweight women who increased their calorie intake by 1% from eating trans fats gained an additional 2.3 pounds per year. 9 Costs- Virtually no cost to restaurant owners in switching to non-trans fat cooking oils; and Possible negative impact on restaurant food sales due to a potential change in taste. 10 Public Support- Many fast food restaurants are voluntarily removing trans fats 10 Political Feasibility- 18 states have already considered or passed trans-fat bans. 10

13 Evaluation Using a Decision Matrix CriterionOption 1: Taxing Sugar Drinks Option 2: Menu Labeling Option 3: Trans Fat Ban Costs/Savings Weight-.35 Score: 80 Weighted Score: 28 Score: 25 Weighted Score: 8.75 Score: 35 Weighted Score: Effectiveness Weight-.30 Score: 45 Weighted Score: 13.5 Score: 55 Weighted Score: 16.5 Score: 45 Weighted Score: 13.5 Political Feasibility Weight-.20 Score: 30 Weighted Score: 6 Score: 65 Weighted Score: 13 Score: 75 Weighted Score: 15 Public Support Weight-.15 Score: 55 Weighted Score: 7.5 Score: 75 Weighted Score: Score: 63 Weighted Score: 9.45 Total Weighted Score

14 Policy Recommendation Implementing a federal excise tax of one cent per ounce container on sugar sweetened beverages is the best policy method for reducing obesity rates. Both very effective and can raise money to fund other obesity or health related programs

15 Implementation of the Policy Tax will be paid as customers purchase products at grocery stores All current state taxes must be dropped and replaced with a flat rate States will receive 20% of tax revenue from these purchases (rest goes to the federal government) A new IRS subdivision must be created to monitor tax reporting

16 Monitoring and Evaluations At the end of each fiscal year, calculations of tax revenue will reveal how much funding was raised to support other health programs. With these numbers, the quantity of sugar-sweetened beverages can be calculated and analyzed to recognize any behavioral changes in the purchasing of these drinks. Combined with reports from the CDC, the effect of an increase, decrease, or no change in sugar-sweetened beverage purchases can be correlated with a rise or fall in obesity in the next decade.

17 Questions, Comments, Concerns? Do you have any questions or comments? Thank you for attending this presentation

18 References 1. The Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Physical Activity Facts Accessed November 8, The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Overweight and Obesity: Data and Statistics Available at: Accessed November 8, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Menu Labeling: Does Providing Nutrition Information at the Point of Purchase Affect Consumer Behavior? Available at: Accessed November 8, Accessed November 8 4. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. Overweight and Obesity: Health Consequences Available at: November 8, Brownell KD, Frieden TR. Ounces of Prevention- The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages. N Engl J Med. 2009; 360(18): Available at: 6. Public Health Law Center. Taxing Sugar Drinks: A Tool for Obesity Prevention, Cost Savings, and Health Improvement Available at: _Public%20Health%20Law%20Center%20%20May% pdf. Accessed November 8, _Public%20Health%20L

19 References 7. Brownell KD, Farley T, Willet WC, Popkin BM, Chaloupka FJ, Thompson JW, Ludwig Ds. The Public Health and Economic Benefits of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. N Engl J Med 2009; 361(16) Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Menu Labeling in Chain Restaurants: Opportunities for Public Policy Available at: eports/RuddMenuLabelingReport2008.pdf. Accessed November 10, eports/RuddMenuLabelingRepo 9. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Menu Labeling: Does Providing Nutrition Information at the Point of Purchase Affect Consumer Behavior? Available at: pdf. Accessed November 8, pdf. Accessed November Public Health Law Center. Trans Fat Bans: Policy Options for Eliminating the Use of Artificial Trans Fats in Restaurants Available at: rces/phlc-policy-trans-fat.pdf Accessed November 8, rces/phlc-policy-trans-fat.pdf


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