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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GONZALEZ-ZAPATA, Laura I. et al. Assessment criteria for public policies on obesity: the view of Spanish stakeholders. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.4, pp.309-320. ISSN 0213-9111.

Aim: To explore the criteria used to assess public policy initiatives on obesity in Spain by the main stakeholders. Methods: Multicriteria mapping was performed within the framework of the European PorGrow Project «Policy options for responding to obesity» through a structured interview with 21 stakeholders, who were leaders in the public and private sectors in Spain in the area of food and physical exercise. Qualitative and quantitative information was included in the analysis. The interviewees justified their positions for or against the various policy options with criteria that were weighted by their relative importance and documented with quotations and «nuggets» from the interviewees' discourse. Results: We identified 93 criteria for policy selection in the 21 interviewees. The most frequent criteria and those perceived as most important were efficacy (n = 18), social benefits (n = 17) and social acceptability (n = 14). The economic impact on individuals and the public sector was not considered important by the interviewees. The economic impact on the commercial sector was not included by any of the participants. The criterion most highly valued by public sector stakeholders was societal benefits while that most valued by private sector stakeholders was efficacy. Conclusions: Spain is in the initial stages of developing public policy on obesity and, as yet, there are no winners and losers among those concerned, which may explain why economic costs seem to be relatively unimportant for the stake-holders, opening a window of opportunity for the development of regulatory policies.

Keywords : Obesity; Public policies; Public health nutrition; Public health; Decision criteria.

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