Should support for obesity interventions or perceptions of their perceived effectiveness shape policy?
Sommaire de l'article
Most studies suggest the public locate responsibility for the 'obesity epidemic' with individuals themselves and support measures promoting greater personal responsibility in the belief these will reduce obesity prevalence. We compared estimates of policy support with estimates of perceived policy effectiveness to test this assumption.
In an on-line survey of 534 New Zealanders, we tested support for 15 potential measures to reduce overweight and obesity and compared this with estimates of the effectiveness of these policies, determined by a Best-Worst choice experiment.
Respondents gave strongest support to measures encouraging people to undertake more exercise and adopt a better diet. However, they saw greater personal responsibility as less effective in reducing obesity than environmental interventions that reduced the costs of healthy food and exercise, and decreased the availability of unhealthy foods.
Potentially important differences exist between the measures the general public say they support to address obesity, which favour personal responsibility and education, and those they believe will be effective, which include more environmental interventions.
Simply measuring the popularity of measures to reduce obesity produces an incomplete picture of public opinion. Examining the perceived efficacy of different interventions offers a complementary perspective that policy makers should also consider.