Ending Childhood Obesity Conference

A free conference addressing the challenges and role of the law in dealing with childhood obesity will take place at the University of Liverpool’s London campus this week (Thursday, 7 – Friday, 8 July).

Childhood obesity, the prevalence of which has increased at alarming rates over the last 30 years in many countries worldwide, has become one of the most significant public health challenges for the 21st century.

In 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 41 million children under five years-of-age were overweight or obese, as a result of being raised in ‘obesogenic environments’ in both high-, low- and middle-income countries, cutting across all socio-economic groups.


The conference, entitled ‘Ending Childhood Obesity: A Challenge at the Crossroads of International Trade and Human Rights Law’, has been organised by Professor Amandine Garde from the Liverpool Law School.

Her research interests lie in the fields of EU Trade, Consumer, Advertising, Food and Public Health Law.

Professor Garde, said: “The conference will examine how legal instruments can be used in promoting healthier lifestyles and explore the extent to which international trade and human rights law should interact to allow States to effectively protect children from increasing obesity rates. The event is very timely as the UK Government is due to release its childhood obesity strategy over the summer, after postponing it twice.

“This strategy will need to be evidence based and draw heavily on the report of the WHO Commission on ending childhood obesity recently endorsed by the World Health Assembly in May this year.”

Human rights approach

The conference will also focus on a range of overarching issues, including:

–          whether, and if so to which extent, World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and International Investment Agreements (IIAs) have contributed to growing childhood obesity rates;
–          whether, and if so how, the WTO and IIAs could accommodate childhood obesity concerns;
–          what a ‘human rights approach’ entails and how it could contribute to reversing childhood obesity trends;
–          how the Convention on the Rights of the Child could be invoked, with a specific focus on the relevance of the child’s right to health and the principle of the best interest of the child;
–          whether international trade and human rights law really stem from different premises and pursue arguably irreconcilable objectives

For more information please visit https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/law-and-social-justice/conferences/ending-childhood-obesity/

The event is free though registration is required. If you are interested in attending, please contact Professor Amandine Garde at amandine.garde@liverpool.ac.uk

Child on weighing scales

Leave a comment