Ethics and public policy

Ethical reflections help us decide what are the best actions to pursue in difficult and controversial situations. Reflections on public policy consider how to alter patterns of individual activity and institutional policies or frameworks for the better. The rising prevalence of childhood and adolescent obesity may pose serious health issues. As such, it is related to ethical and public policy questions including responsibility for health, food production and consumption, patterns of physical activity, the role of the state, and the rights and duties of parenthood. The problem of rising prevalence of obesity is mainly an issue in the Western world. Many developing countries going through rapid economic growth now face or might soon face similar problems. However, in this chapter we will offer only a Western perspective on the current problem of rising childhood and adolescent obesity, drawing many of our examples from the British context.
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