Comprehensive Efforts to Address Public Health Concerns
NOTE: This box denotes only selected examples of the multiple approaches used to address each public health problem.
SOURCES: IOM, 1999, 2003; Economos et al., 2001.
Parallel and synergistic efforts to prevent adult obesity, which will contribute to improvements in health for the U.S. population at all ages, are also beginning. Grassroots efforts made by citizens and organizations will likely drive many of the obesity prevention efforts at the local level and can be instrumental in driving policies and legislation at the state and national levels (Economos et al., 2001).
A policy analysis by Kersh and Morone (2002) shows that three of the seven common triggers for strong public action in response to a public health problem are beginning to be activated with respect to the U.S. obesity epidemic: social disapproval that shifts the social norm, evidence-based medical research, and self-help movements for overweight and obese individuals. Other triggers that have worked successfully for public health problems such as tobacco, alcohol, and illicit-drug use (a widespread coordinated movement or campaign; fear of problem-related behaviors or re-