Confronting a rising tide of eating disorders and obesity: treatment vs. prevention and policy

Addict Behav. 1996 Nov-Dec;21(6):755-65. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(96)00034-2.


Eating disorders and obesity are rising in prevalence and are problems of considerable public health significance. Prevailing treatments have a limited impact on public health because the disorders do not yield easily to intervention and because the treatments are costly and available to few. Shifting from a medical to a public health model argues for increased focus on both prevention and public policy. Research on prevention is in its early stages but must be aggressively pursued. Even less is known about policy, but recommendations are made to alter policy so that consumption of healthful foods increases, consumption of unhealthful foods decreases, and levels of physical activity are enhanced.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / prevention & control
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Bulimia / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia / prevention & control
  • Bulimia / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Education / trends
  • Health Policy / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / prevention & control
  • Obesity / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology