Regulating Obesity?: Government, Society, and Questions of Health explores the effectiveness of legal interventions aimed at promoting healthier lifestyles. In it, W.A. Bogart suggests that the government's emphasis on encouraging weight loss and preventing excess gain have largely failed to resolve obesity and have instead fueled prejudice against fat people. He suggests that a major challenge lies in shifting norms away from stigmatization of the obese and towards more nutritious and healthy lifestyle habits in addition to the acceptance of bodies in all shapes and sizes.
Part of this challenge lies in the complex effects of law and its relationship with norms, including the unintended consequences of regulation. Regulating Obesity? begins by arguing for the protection of the overweight and obese from discrimination through human rights laws. It then examines three other areas of interventions - marketing, fiscal policy, and physical activity - and how these interventions operate within the context of "health equity." Professor Bogart evaluates the effectiveness of legal regulation in addressing obesity and concludes that a healthier population is more important than a thinner population. Regulating Obesity? is the first book to engage in the comprehensive evaluation of this role for law and the implications of society's fascination with regulating consumption.
About the author
W.A. Bogart is distinguished university professor and professor of law at the University of Windsor. He is the author/editor of seven books, including Regulating Obesity?: Government, Society, and Questions of Health. He blogs for the Huffington Post and is a frequent media commentator on the regulation of consumption. He lives in Toronto.