In most contemporary societies, we look to governments to protect and even increase public welfare. Whether through regulation, taxes, or education, or some combination of these, governments can play a significant part in affecting the choices we
make and the outcomes that result from those choices. Governments in the OECD area have taken a broad range of actions in recent years to improve nutrition and physical activity, reacting to a growing concern about increasing obesity rates, particularly in vulnerable population
groups. This chapter examines these actions and analyses the scope for, and potential consequences of, government intervention in the context of obesity prevention. It also looks at the response of the private sector to challenges related to food and physical activity
in the current epidemic of obesity.