Obesity has risen to the top of the public health policy agenda in OECD countries. There is a popular perception that explanations for the obesity epidemic are simple and solutions are within easy reach. When looking at the data in more detail, however, a more complicated picture emerges. Simply finding objective evidence on the phenomenon is a difficult task for policymakers, health professionals, and academics who are trying to understand the epidemic and devise strategies to counter it.
Fit not Fat aims to contribute to evidence-based policymaking by examining multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. Answers to even the most basic questions economists would ask, such as the link between obesity and well-being or whether combating obesity is cost-effective, require inputs from a range of disciplines. The book analyzes the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides additional insights relative to a more traditional public health approach.