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August 30, 2012

Public value conference papers available

My paper, "Creating Public Value with Tax and Spending Policies," for the Center for Integrative Leadership's Creating Public Value Conference is now available online, along with the other foundation papers for the conference. And my contributed paper for the same conference, co-authored with Lisa Hinz and Scott Chazdon, is available with the other contributed papers here. Please keep in mind that the papers are all conference drafts and shouldn't be cited or quoted without the authors' permission. So, if you are interested in how a wide range of scholars view the creation of public value, register for the conference (September 20-22 in Minneapolis), read the papers, and come ready to discuss them with the authors and other conference participants from around the country. See you there!

August 27, 2012

Less obesity, lower costs?

Today in her blog, "Food Politics," Marion Nestle summarizes some recent estimates from the Campaign to End Obesityof the cost of obesity in the United States. Nestle sounds reluctant to take the estimates at face value, but admits, "One thing is clear: obesity is expensive, personally, economically, and politically."
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Extension programs of many types aim to reduce the incidence of and costs associated with obesity. Not only nutrition education programs, but some agriculture programs (farmers markets, local foods), youth programs, and even community leadership programs seek to improve health and impact the obesity problem. And to be effective with non-participant stakeholders--to demonstrate public value--these programs would like to report the dollar value of savings they have helped generate for state and local governments and for communities. Can estimates such those released by the Campaign to End Obesity help Extension programs make their case?

Do you work with programs that address obesity and its impact on communities? Have you found estimates of the cost of obesity that can be used to support your program's public value? Do you focus on public health costs--which affect all community members--or have you found a way to incorporate even the impact on private health care costs into a public value message?