Childhood Obesity: Should Junk Food be Regulated?|Business Ethics|Case Study|Case Studies

Childhood Obesity: Should Junk Food be Regulated?

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG054
Case Length : 16 Pages
Period : 1989 - 2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : McDonald's Corporation et al
Industry : Food
Countries : USA, Europe, Australia, Asia

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

In September 2005, the Government of UK announced that from September 2006, vending machines in schools will not be allowed to sell chocolates, crisps, or fizzy drinks.7 Making the announcement, Ruth Kelly, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, said, "I am absolutely clear that the scandal of junk food served every day in school canteens must end." Sweden, Norway, Austria, and Luxembourg have banned television advertising to children; Belgium, France, and Portugal have banned junk food marketing at schools...


In the US, the incidence of childhood obesity had risen to more than 15% by the year 2000 (Refer to Exhibit II and Exhibit III for statistics on obese children in the US). In 2003, it was estimated that there were about 1.5 million Australians aged 18 years who were either overweight or obese. In 2002, 21.8% of boys and 27.5% of girls aged 2-15 years in England were found to be overweight or obese.8

This included 5.5% of boys and 7.2% of girls who were obese.9 24% of children in the European Union were either overweight or obese obese.10 In 2005, a survey conducted in two districts by the National Institute of Nutrition, India, found that obesity in children aged 12-17 years had more than doubled in a decade.11

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The British Medical Association (BMA) observed that childhood obesity was one of the factors that caused an increase in the incidence of 'childhood type 2 diabetes'.12 Also, obese children were susceptible to psycho-social problems caused by the 'stigma of being obese'.

According to Blandine de Lauzon and Dr. Marie-Aline Charles of INSERM,13 "The probability of continuing obesity or overweight in adulthood, when acquired during childhood, varies with the child's age and the presence of obesity or overweight in parents: it is the primary risk of childhood obesity.

Thus, approximately 20% to 50% of children who were obese before puberty will remain so in adulthood, and 50% to 70% of obese adolescents will retain this obesity in adulthood."14 Obesity in adults increased their vulnerability to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.15

There appears to be a significant relationship between the television watching habits of children and their obesity...

Excerpts >>





11] C S R K Gokhale, "Watch your child's flab," The New Indian Express, November 19, 2005.

12] British Medical Association: Board of Science, "Preventing childhood obesity,", June 2005.

13] The French National Institute for Health and Medical Research

14] nutrition_newsletter/on73.php

15] hi/pdfs/16_11_04_executive_summary.pdf


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