Patterns and predictors of state adult obesity prevention legislation enactment in US states: 2010-2013

Elisabeth A. Donaldson, Joanna E. Cohen, Andrea C. Villanti, Norma F. Kanarek, Colleen L. Barry, Lainie Rutkow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined bill- and state-level factors associated with enactment of adult obesity prevention legislation in US states. Methods: A review of bills in the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity's legislative database identified 487 adult obesity prevention bills, or proposed legislation, introduced between 2010 and 2013. Multilevel models were constructed to examine bill- and state-level characteristics associated with enactment. Results: From 2010 to 2013, 81 (17%) of obesity prevention bills introduced were enacted across 35 states and the District of Columbia. Bills introduced in 2010 were more likely to be enacted than in 2013 (OR. =. 9.49; 95% CI: 2.61-34.5). Bills focused on access to healthy food, physical activity, general and educational programs, as well as modifying rules and procedures (e.g., preemption) had greater odds of enactment relative to food and beverage taxes (OR. =. 8.18; 95% CI: 2.85-23.4 healthy food; OR. =. 17.3; 95% CI: 4.55-65.7 physical activity; OR. =. 15.2; 95% CI: 4.80-47.9 general; OR. =. 13.7; 95% CI: 3.07-61.5 rules). Conclusion: The year of bill introduction and overall bill enactment rate were related to adult obesity prevention legislation enactment in states. This study highlights the importance of a bill's topic area for enactment and provides insights for advocates and policymakers trying to address enactment barriers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-122
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Legislation
  • Obesity
  • Policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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