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Addressing Overweight/Obesity: Lessons for Future Actions


Popkin, Barry M.; Schneider, Pia; & Shekar, Meera (2020). Addressing Overweight/Obesity: Lessons for Future Actions.. Shekar, Meera & Popkin, Barry M. (Eds.) (pp. 109-168). Washington, D.C.: The World Bank.


Argues that the reasons for rapid increases in overweight/obesity across low- and middle-income countries include a combination of major shifts toward reduced physical activity and in food consumption patterns. Reducing excessive weight gain and ultimately reducing future overweight/obesity will require a multisectoral approach. Experience with physical activity improvements and obesity prevention remains limited to a handful of countries, mostly in the global north, but includes all forms of design, from buildings that make stairs an attractive option to active transport and urban design to incentivize and enable biking and walking. While fiscal policies linked mainly to sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxes but also, in selected countries, to ultra-processed foods offer key interventions, other efforts include front-of-the-package labeling and related nutrition profiling models with warning labels. The most neglected area remains in food systems, including sectoral work related to farms, agribusinesses, food retailers, and food service chains as well as street vendors.


Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published


Series Title

Human Development Persepctives


Popkin, Barry M.
Schneider, Pia
Shekar, Meera