gies to improve diet and physical activity levels must be different from those employed for tobacco control, because the nature of the behaviors are different, but also in relation to possible private-sector interactions. According to the authors, a formal treaty approach is not warranted,3 but that the organizing framework for the FCTC may be useful for the development of national plans and policies. In their article, Yach and colleagues (2003) draw comparisons between tobacco and food strategies, using the template of the FCTC, including a discussion of (1) price and tax measures, (2) labeling and product content, (3) educational campaigns, (4) product marketing, (5) clinical interventions, (6) product supply, (7) liability and corporate behavior, and (8) supportive and facilitative measures.

Economos and colleagues (2001) conducted a global analysis of social change models by interviewing 34 key informants. These investigators concluded that a number of factors are being associated with a successful social change. These factors included having the issue being perceived as a crisis, a persuasive science base, important economic implications, strategic leadership (spark plugs), a coalition or mobilizing network, community and media advocacy, government involvement, media involvement, policy and environmental change, and a coordinated, but flexible plan.

A synthesis of these studies suggests a set of core factors that appear to be associated with successful health-related social change efforts. These core factors include:

  • A persuasive science base documenting a socially and scientifically credible threat to the public health with important economic implications;

  • A supportive partnership with the media;

  • Strategic leadership and a prominent champion;

  • A diverse constituency of highly effective advocates; and

  • Enabling and reinforcing laws, regulations, and policies.

It is not clear whether all these factors need to be present for each public health campaign, or if there is a preferred sequence of activities, although the order presented above corresponds roughly to the tobacco control movement and exhibits some face validity for these core concepts.

In summary, some of the factors associated with successful public health campaigns are formal, planned interventions (e.g., mass-media campaigns,


However, an accompanying commentary (Daynard, 2003) suggested that consideration should be given to a treaty model for global obesity prevention, similar to the FCTC, if only for the increased awareness of civil society and governments of the problem resultant from treaty development and negotiations process.

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