Workshop Session – Behavioural Responses to Obesity Intervention at the Canadian Obesity Summit, 1-6 May, 2013, Vancouver, Canada
Overview of obesity prevention and policy interventions – Sean Cash and Larissa Drescher
Obesity is a particular challenge due to the myriad of factors that influence it, including genetics and behaviour. Numerous policies have been proposed in different constituencies to address obesity although many have been emphasized without addressing potential behaviour changes of the target audience and other agents in the food industry. Interventions will be introduced.
Information as a policy intervention - Jutta Roosen, Gesa Maschkowski, Monika Hartmann, Larissa Drescher, Carola Grebitus
A variety of information interventions have been introduced and are proposed to improve individual food decision making, including nutrition labelling, advertising and promotion restrictions. There have been a wide variety of different nutrition labelling requirements implemented in different countries, for example, and how these might affect behaviour and examination of impacts will be considered.
School and school food policies –Anna Farmer, Helen Jensen, Monika Hartmann, Sean Cash
One size does not fit all when it comes to food and nutrition policies. The goal to implementing food and nutrition policies in schools and child care settings is to improve nutrition practices and health among children and youth. Yet, the best practices on ways of enhancing food environments in these settings are not well established and may potentially increase health disparities.
Foods and food ingredient regulation – Anna Farmer, Helen Jensen
To offset information complexities in the food industry, different groups and countries have proposed regulating or providing recommendations on the use of various ingredients in the food industry including fats, trans-fats, sodium and sugar. There are different types of policies, taxes versus bans, for example, and different ways of implementing the interventions – taxing final consumer product sales (eg. fat taxes) versus taxing ingredient use by industry, for example. How these work and influence behaviour will be described.
Industry Challenges in Responding to Obesity Challenges across Countries – Sherry MacLauchlan, Director, Government Relations and Sustainability, McDonald’s of Canada
Companies within the food industry make serious attempts to improve the nutritional quality of their offerings (reducing sodium, for example) and are often forestalled by the responses of the public. Successful and unsuccessful initiatives will be described with examples from restaurants
How can we incorporate behaviour into better obesity prevention and policy interventions? - Jutta Roosen, Carola Grebitus, Anna Farmer, Sean Cash
Behaviour of two main groups are key to how obesity interventions will impact on public health. Firms can respond by changing product recipes, product mix and promotion, the public can respond by changing quantities of foods consumed, substituting among foods, changing the location of food purchases (at home versus away from home, for example) and modifying other determinants such as exercise. These behavioural responses can enhance or diminish the effectiveness of obesity interventions and need to be considered in program design and implementation.