Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has focused its obesity prevention and control efforts on improving population-level health. A recent Institute of Medicine report identified systems that affect population health, to include health care delivery systems, schools, businesses and employers, communities, and governmental public health infrastructure. CDC uses the public health model to engage these systems, and this process coordinates multiple settings, sectors, and jurisdictions to develop an integrated approach to identify, prevent, and control obesity. The public health approach goes beyond medical care to prioritize policy and environmental strategies that can be implemented across jurisdictional levels, in collaboration with traditional and nontraditional partners. The process ultimately produces tools, guidelines, and interventions that can be used to prevent and control obesity. In this manuscript, we provide an overview of the public health perspective on obesity, outline the public health framework for addressing obesity, and discuss the rationale for leveraging law-based efforts as a tool to accomplish the public health mission.