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Paternalism Obesity and Tolerable Levels

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  1. What impact does paternalism have in public health programs and services?

Paternalism refers to the policy or practice of restricting the freedom and responsibilities of those subordinate to them supposedly in their own best interest by those in positions of power. While some find paternalism comforting and consistent with the government’s roles, for many it is precisely the problem. A good example is the anti-masks campaigns during the ongoing corona pandemic (Vine, Elliott & Raine, 2014). Paternalistic policies meet resistance because they are presented as forms of control that infringe on the rights of citizens. They seem to deem the citizen unfit to make their own decisions and must therefore be told what to do….

  1. With respect to the Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy (OSFBP), explain how autonomy and beneficence may be in conflict with this policy.

The main goals of the Ontario School Food and Beverage policy is to ensure that standards for nutrition are set for food and beverages which are sold in all public elementary and secondary schools of Ontario. It mandates that all schools ensure food and beverages sold on the institutions premises meet the nutritional standards of the (OSFBP) memorandum. These nutritional standards are applied to all food and beverages sold in all food outlets within the school. …

  1. What effect does the policy have on adolescents?

Adolescents are generally unruly and not so much concerned with the health benefits of what they eat as long they enjoy it. The effect of such a policy on adolescents would be met by resistance and defiance. It seems a little overboard to dictate what adolescent or anyone gets to it and especially through paternalism (Vine, Elliott & Raine, 2014)…

  1. What outcomes do public health officials expect to achieve?

Public health officials seek to Improve the learning capabilities and performance of students in education by improving the health of all students. It is also argued that well fed students are able to focus and concentrate during class…

  1. What are the ultimate goals of public health officials who support school food policies?

The goal of public health officials is to curb rising numbers of lifestyle induced diseases. Their agenda is to reduce the level of exposure of students’ to serious chronic illnesses, like diabetes, heart diseases and certain types of cancer (Rothstein, 2014)…


Rothstein, M. A. (2014). Autonomy and paternalism in health policy: currents in contemporary bioethics. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics42(4), 590-594.

Taryn, O., Steve, M., & Rhona, H. (2017). Support for healthy eating at schools according to the comprehensive school health framework: evaluation during the early years of the Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy implementation. Health promotion and chronic disease prevention in Canada: research, policy and practice37(9), 303.

Vine, M. M., Elliott, S. J., & Raine, K. D. (2014). Exploring implementation of the Ontario school food and beverage policy at the secondary-school level: a qualitative study. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research75(3), 118-124.

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