5055.0 Food Industry Regulation: Labeling, Taxation and Litigation

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
This session explores the relative merits and challenges of several strategies to influence consumer food purchase behavior and food advertising as a means of promoting health and increasing the consumption of healthier food items. Four strategies are described in the session: self-and federal regulation of the food industry, point-of-purchase labeling, taxation, and litigation. The presenters utilize legal research, market research, and experimental data to illustrate the approaches. Initially, the relative merits of self-regulation and governmental regulation for the food industry will be discussed. Legal research methods were used to identify and analyze laws, regulations, and judicial opinions at the federal, state, and local levels, with a focus on front-of-package labeling and food advertising. The second presentation reports on the results of a market research project that assessed alternative approaches to labeling whole grain foods, a recommended food subgroup for which a single definition does not currently exist. A third strategy involving taxing and labeling unhealthy food and drinks was explored in an experimental study that examined the impact of taxes and store signage on food and beverage sales and the calorie and fat content of food products purchased in a hospital snack shop. The final presentation discusses the impact of and lessons learned from the passage of state legislation designed to protect the food industry from lawsuits seeking to recover obesity-related damages. The presentations provide public health professionals and policy staff with current perspectives on strategies to promote a healthier food environment.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe strategies that are being used to influence consumer food purchase behavior and food advertising to consumers; 2. Describe effective ways to shift purchases toward more healthy items in snack shops; and 3. Discuss the potential lessons learned for public health advocates and implications for future obesity-related litigation.

Front-of-Package Labeling, Food Advertising, and the Legal Environment
Lainie Rutkow, JD, PhD, MPH, Jennifer L. Pomeranz, JD, MPH and Sarah Rodman, MPH
Identifying whole grain foods: A comparison of different approaches for selecting more healthful whole grain products
Rebecca Mozaffarian, MS, MPH, Rebekka M. Lee, ScM, Mary Kennedy, MS, David Ludwig, MD, PhD, Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, PhD and Steven Gortmaker, PhD
Taxing and labeling unhealthy food: Making public policies more effective
Brian Elbel, PhD, MPH, Tod Mijanovich, PhD, Beth Dixon, PhD, MPH, Courtney Abrams, MA, J. Morgan Hills, MPH and Matthew Beyrouty

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Food and Nutrition
Endorsed by: Law, Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health, Community Health Planning and Policy Development

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

See more of: Food and Nutrition